Monday, 30 January 2012

Sewing Mojo

The mornings may be colder but you can't beat a sunny winter's morning.
I think I must be solar-powered, as it really get's me moving!

 You may have caught a peek at my Christmas present (to myself!) in the Dolly Sling post..I'm sooo happy to finally have a fully working sewing machine!
I've got a Janome DC3050, from eBay for £180 and she's lovely!
I've got feet and stitches I don't know what to do with but it's the basic's I love, the ability to feed material through with no pushing or pulling and having adjustable speed control - it's effortless.

So after feeling nervous about actually using her instead of gazing wistfully at her, I jumped straight in, not worried about technique or looks, just getting down to some simple sewing. You know that feeling where you don't care how it turns out as it's the actual process of doing it that's the fun bit?

Which is fortunate as with the project below, I forgot to leave the opening for turning out and had to unpick and (hurrah!) do More sewing!!

So firstly I've finished Rowan's Christmas present!
The rectangle of knitting has now been backed with this gorgeous giraffe safari print and I added in a few ribbon taggies around the edges.

I've had a go at making a dribble bib, using a hungry caterpillar fat quarter and an old terry towelling cot sheet. Used one of the machines fancy stretch stitches for it as it didn't feed properly with a straight stitch.

A last minute project is a Kirtle! My daughter is having a Tudor day which requires a costume, so I found on the Hampton Court Palace website an actual pattern for a girls tudor style bodice dress.
I'm only loosely following the instructions as it doesn't need to be accurate. I got the green fabric from the charity shop for £3 and also bought a child's dress for the net underskirt for £3.

Lastly is my largest project, still in progress, the Hungry Caterpillar quilt, I got this from the Festival of Quilts in August and have just started it, hopefully it will be a play mat for Rowan.
It's really simple, the hardest part for me is cutting straight lines with my rotary cutter and too-small cutting mat (bigger is definitely better!) and then sewing a straight line! It's harder then it looks, would love a 1/4" foot for the machine!
Still I'm enjoying it and I think it'll look great when finished.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Knitting Round-Up

I've been on a knitting high recently, must be the winter weather, it's so lovely getting comfy on the sofa and immersing yourself in a pattern (until it goes wrong!).
All details are on Ravelry - My name is: HoldMyHand,do add me as a friend so I can see what you're up to too. If you haven't signed up to Ravelry you really should, it's such a fabulous resource and I love seeing how many projects I've finished since I first started knitting a couple of years back, I think I'm slowly improving!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Dolly Sling

As a belated Christmas gift, I promised my five year old a dolly sling.  These are available to purchase from the fabulous Original Stitch, either as a PDF pattern to make your own or as a finished item.

Having time on my hands and a stash of fabric that needs using, I opted for the pattern.
The pattern for this is graded as one of their 'advanced' - 'Needs loving care' but it's not really tricky, you need to take your time with some of the pieces and there are lots of curves!
The hardest decision is what fabrics to use and what to use as the batting - as all Original Stitch's products are made with recycled/pre-loved fabrics, their suggestions are old towels, heavy fleece or old ironing board covers, sadly I didn't have anything very dense, just some leftover cotton quilt batting, but it was a bit thin so on the front piece I did add a little iron-on interfacing to give it some rigidity.  My daughter helped pick the fabric, the roses print was from an old dress of hers.

The instructions were comprehensive and include good diagrams, which are better for me! The pattern has just been updated incidentally to simplify a couple of the sewing up stages. I must admit that I didn't do the flat side seams that were in the original pattern, as it seemed too fiddly, so I think it was a good decision to update them. Once I'd cut out all the pieces (and I even got the iron out to press as I went along!) it only took me 2 days to complete (working in baby sleep times!).
I finished this afternoon and was very pleased with myself!  The verdict of the five year old? Well she's tried all her dolls and teddys in it but will she pose for a photo? No!
Surprisingly the seven year old was very interested but the straps are too short for her, so I may be running up another one soon!

Monday, 16 January 2012

Dusk Walk

Playing Games

Happy Belated New Year!

Hope you've all greeted this New Year well and maybe made some plans for the coming year?
I thought I'd give details of the games we've spent a lot of time playing recently.
Last year we were introduced to UNO and loved it, even my 4-5 year old could play.
So we've tried to find more card games we can all learn, I've got a copy of 'Waddingtons Illustrated Card Games' which has a section on children's games but they can also be found online, this site has all our current favourites:
We like Old Maid, My Ship Sails, Snip Snap Snorem & Rolling Stone at the moment.
Card Holder
I got them some card holders to try to make the handling a bit simpler which seems to help.
For Christmas I made sure the girls got lots of board games, ones they could play together or for all of us as a family.

Guess Who Extra
Mouse Trap
Hello Kitty The Game
Pop up Pirate
Hasbro Game of Life Adventures
Game of Life, this has been recently updated and we enjoyed playing this as a family, the rules aren't too complicated & is a lot simpler than my '80's version thankfully!

 Magic Cauldron

Magic Cauldron Game, this is an Orchard game (love these!) for my 7 year old, it's a maths game where you have to find the correct sum that makes the number you have picked. The Magic part is that to find out if you're correct you have to rub the back of the sum card, which has a heat sensitive coating to reveal the answer.
Run, Run, as Fast as you Can!
Run,Run as Fast as You Can, another orchard game, this one for the 5 year old. You have to move round the board to get to the river, first to cross over wins, you have animals from the story who you use to try to stop your opponents & you have to use a spinner to try and get across the river first. A simple game that we all played as a family.

 Scooby-Doo! First Frights
The girls also got a Wii game each, Scooby Doo First Frights which the eldest enjoys, you have to use the nunchuck (so 2-handed play) but it's not too tricky, a game for an older child who has had experience with a Wii controller.
Barbie: Jet, Set and Style
The youngest got Barbie Jet Set & Style, which is a good simple game for her, previously she's only played the Peppa Pig game as she finds using the controller quite difficult but this is a excellent next step game, very basic controller use, rolling, swishing, simultaneous button pushing. Basically you style Barbies friends, doing hair, nails and clothes, which she loves!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

We've spent a lot of time...

playing games this Christmas

Didn't realise that we hadn't had the TV on at all on Christmas Day until Boxing Day!

Right off to play cards!