Friday, 13 November 2009

I made a chicken!

I am so psyched about this! I've always loved these chicken doorstops and thought they'd be a great way to make something 'recycled'.

Well I've made one all by myself. I got the instructions from A Greener Christmas by Sheherazade Goldsmith. Although fixing the head on seemed really complex, so I'm going to look for easier instructions if I make another one.

My version isn't really big enough to be a doorstop, it's more of a large ornament. You were supposed to make the print out 200%, but I couldn't figure out how to do that, so mine is half size I guess - I'm not really sure about all this enlarging patterns business at the moment. Perhaps one of you can enlighten me.

This gift will be for DD's best friend who is chicken mad. DD and I love cats, her friend loves chickens, so there you go - the perfect pressie, I hope.

I'm a bit worried because they are a family who buy things and love spending money in the shops, so I'm not sure how well received it will be. Maybe they'll think it is cheap crap, but I guess I need to get over that and give it unconditionally.

I've stuffed it with a bag of lentils, so it has a great feel factor to it!
Have you ever given a hand made pressie and just known the other person has thought it's a load of rubbish because you didn't 'buy' it?

Sunday, 25 October 2009

My first 'failure'

I'm so disappointed about this. I bought a kit to make a fairy cake trinket box for DD. I thought it looked very cute and if she didn't like it, here was one mama who would put it to good use!

See the pic on the left of how the kit should look? Looks great doesn't it? The lid comes off and kids can store their precious treasures away from preying eyes.

Well I've had a harsh lesson in reality. Sewing kits are llike MFI flatpacked furniture. They look great on the shop floor, put together by experts, but get yours home and you can guarantee bits won't have been machined off properly, edges won't align or there will be something missing.

There was some thread missing, but that wasn't the end of the world. What WAS the end of the world to me, however, was that the bloomin' thing doesn't fit properly.

I have followed the instructions, but it's clear that the top will never fit on the base; not in a million years and not even with the gentle persuasion of my daughter's 'deft fingers' as she calls them - too many Enid Blyton books!

So here it is; I quite like the lame dogs in life - the animal with the croked head, the ones with broken paws, the ones with nibbled ears, but for some reason I don't find this enduring at all; I just find it a complete disappointment.

And because I'm a beginner, I wouldn't know where to start to sort things out.....

Saturday, 24 October 2009

MP4 case

Ok, I admit it; I'm very proud of this.

It's hopelessly 'wrong'; the ribbon is sewn on diagonally (it got caught on the back by the machine and I didn't realise) and the front flap isn't really long enough, but hey, I created an MP4 case out of a piece of felt and some old pyjamas I found in the charity shop.

As DD's MP4 is her pride and joy I hope she will be pleased with this. The PJs were great with their high heeled shoes and handbags on them.

I kind of followed instructions on Made by Petchy's blog - she has a lovely tutorial with great photos. I wasn't brave enough to leave a hole for the headphones lead at this stage - lining up a buttonhole seemed very daunting; but DD rarely uses headphones; she just has the MP4 on the table and listens to it through the speaker.

Petchy shares some lovely free Patterns and tutorials, so go along and have a browse at her lovely creations.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Wahee! A doll for tiny tears

This is my doll!

I had her when I was about 5 and now she belongs to DD. Tiny tears went through everything with me; I told her all my secrets and she shared hers too.

She shared a secret with me the other day, which was that DD wanted some new dolls clothes for Christmas. My trusty friends at Cloth Kits were having a 'seconds' sale and I bought the dress material with instructions. There is a tiny flaw in the material, but hey, who's looking?

Making the dress was much harder than I thought - just how do you sew anything other than a straight line? The sleeves are a bit of a squeeze and the neckline has an intriguing ruched effect, plus there was a part of the instructions missing - not cool for a beginner. But I have to say the quality of the material is awesome; it was like some kind of shipping sail material; I could have made a parachute out of it and was a real treat to work with.

As a retro; throw-back-to-the-seventies pattern I think this dress is wonderful. I might get brave one day and make one for myself LOL! I'm not sure what DD will make of it, she's going through a 'trendy' phase, so she might just laugh it away out of sight ....

Cloth kits eh? Talk about a trip down memory lane ...

Monday, 19 October 2009

Christmas faeries

Here are a couple of fairies I made from pipe cleaners, wooden beads, some embroidery thread and ribbon.

Ok, so they originally came in a kit (forgive me, I'm a beginner) but I know you could knock these up out of scraps in no time at all and I feel I could now as well.

They cost next to nothing to make and DD loves fairies, so I think these will go down a treat! In addition, Santa Claus isn't visiting her this year (she is having a crisis of faith) and she has asked the fairies to bring her presents instead...

Violet Posy's Thrifty Christmas!

I just found a marvellous and timely post over at Violet Posy.

Liz is holding a 'Thrifty Christmas' theme which is for everyone to swap ideas of cheap thrifty Christmas presents to make for family and friends.

She realises money is tight for many people so thought it would be great to make nice, simple heartfelt gifts.

What better way to do this than to pool ideas?!

She's offered to host a ‘Thrifty Christmas’ Carnival from the 9-12th November. That gives people a month to get ideas together and write posts and then gives other bloggers time to make the gifts.

So have a think, any crafts, recipes, cards, sweets anything you make for family or friends and would like to share with other bloggers.

Grab the code from the LHS of her home page to get the Thrifty Christmas Badge!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

A sad felt cat

Oh dear, he does look sad, but as my daughter tends to fall in love with 'lame dogs' perhaps this felt cat is just the ticket.

This is my first attempt at appliquéing and doing whatever else it's called (the eyes, whiskers and mouth - embroidery is it?)

But I do think this felt cat is rather cute. He's very well behaved and just needs some loving and the odd bit of food. Occasionally he'll purr, but he prefers to look sad (I think he's an attention grabber, personally, so don't fall for it too much)

His tummy has sheeps wool in it and he's made from wool felt. And he was the most 'cat like' colour I had.


Monday, 12 October 2009

Lavender bags

I've done nothing on the crafting front for ages, (so much for the new years resolution of making loads of stuff and holding a table sale around now!!) but have made up my mind that this Yule all of DD's presents will be home made.

This terrifies me and it's a HUGE challenge because me and the needle and thread are still not best of friends!

I decided to start with something I hoped would be simple. DD loves lavender and we have dried some this year from the garden, so I made this set of three small lavender bags. As she was up to 2am reading, perhaps these will help her sleep for longer too!

I've made the following list of ideas and would love some suggestions from you - DD is eight and loves animals (especially cats) reading and fairies. I can do very basic sewing and just about knit plain stitch - I can't crotchet, can't draw or paint and you won't catch me making cross stitch!

Here's my list. Note, I'm not intending on making it all, I'm just brainstorning LOL! Thanks to some of the wonderful ladies over on Green Parent, I have some great suggestions:

  • I collected some small flat pebbles on our last holiday and am going to write words on them so she can use them for 'divination' - she loves using my angel cards, so these will be her own version. I'm wondering what to write on a pebble with - any ideas?
  • Morsbag with appliqued cat or flowers on it; have got a kit from cloth kits as a standby ;)
  • Will make some tiny containers from old decorated egg boxes and put organic sweets and chocs in them
  • She's started sewing, so was going to make her a pincushion
  • MP4 case
  • bath bombs
  • lip gloss
  • couple of fairies to hang from her bedroom ceiling
  • felt cat
  • Some kind of trinket case for her to keep her 'treasures'
  • Pen pot from decorated tin can
  • clothes for her babies and barbie-type dolls
  • She loves the idea of perfume and deodorant, so will make something from essential oils
  • Set of juggling balls or bean bags
  • Would love, love, love to make a doll - again have a it from cloth kits, but really scared to get started.
If you've got any experience of making these and have tutorials, pics or inspiration for me, PLEASE share, I need all the help I can get (although I'm rather proud of my lavender bags and they are all hand sewn!).

Remember I'm a total novice, so nothing too complex.
Would love links to your own blogs too, so I can gather ideas. (I'm good at gathering ideas, not so good at grounding them ;) )

Sunday, 9 August 2009

I made a doll's skirt!

How excited am I!? I managed to make a doll's skirt, using a tutorial from my old 1972 ladybird sewing book.

The book is inscribed from Steven Bird; and he gave it to me for my 6th Birthday. Who knew that 31 years later I would be using that book to make one of my daughter's babys a skirt!

The material looks old and faded; that's because it is. This material once belonged to a short summer dress. DD loved that dress and when she first put it on at the age of 18 months, it was below her knees.

Finally, at the beginning of this year, when it barely reached her waist and she couldn't get her arms through the tiny armholes (she's now 8 years old!) I convinced her to part with it. Instead of taking it to the textiles bank I decided to start a fabric stash. I've heard all about how a fabric stash can get very addictive and now I think I know why.

Anyway, the baby has a new skirt and now my daughter wants me to teach her how to make one so that ALL her baby's can have new skirts.

We may be gone some time..

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Spring nature table

I Love setting up our nature table at the beginning of each season. Spring and autumn ones are my favourite. I love all the flower children and feeling of potential and new growth in spring and the root children and gnomes are so cute during autumn.

A friend from a forum sent me the three lovely crocus children you can see in the picture and I made the others myself. Someone else crotched us the cute bunny and the chicks I couldn't resist buying from our local PO this week! The spring angel is from Myriad - boy if I could make something as stunning as that one day I would be a happy spring bunny :)

I'm planning on making some more flower children to add throughout the season and would love to have a go at making mother earth too. Nothing like high aspirations!

A rather cute owl!

A friend sent dd an exciting parcel for her birthday. In there were some fabric scraps, buttons, beads and ribbons - the perfect present for little girls everywhere!

DD has has a lot of enjoyment rifling and sorting through her treasures and has been begging me to make her something with all the bits.

I decided to take my inspiration from the felt owl kit I bought from Paper and string. I haven't used the kit yet; far too scared that I would mess him up, so used the idea to create my own owl from the materials my friend sent! It was a way in which I could use a little bit of all the gift - beads for the eyes, material for the body and even a bit of ribbon across his front.

I've stuffed him with carded sheeps wool and he's a firm favourite in our house now. He's called Felix. I love the way he looks at though his head is cocked to the side :)

Sunday, 18 January 2009

My first sewing alteration

My life is hectic at the moment, to put it mildly. So all my crafty stuff is on hold until the middle of February when my life should resume its regular pace and I'll be back on the blog.

However, I rather surpassed my self this week. I had to do a kind of alterations job. Alterations and sewing are not my forte but it was an emergency. Dd had been invited to a farm for the afternoon and she needed suitable attire - wellies and waterproofs to be exact.

She tried on her waterproofs and despite being the right age on the label, I think they were made for a midget child. She has a slim waist, but these were ridiculous - I wonder if they were a second.

Anyway, she couldn't get the waistband on. They were elasticated and we had half an hour before we had to leave. The other day she sorted through her wardrobe and found an old swimming costume which had a hole in it. I found my trusty quick-unpick, got into the waistband of the trousers, cut the elastic and cut a piece from the swimming costume (nice stretchy fabric) to sew in as an extension.

I was so nervous! I felt like I was back at school sitting an exam, but you know what? I did it! I was terrified the cut elastic would whip back into the waistband and I would lose it forever!
It wasn't the prettiest of jobs, but it was functional. And Dd had a great time at the farm. She was covered in you-know-what when she came home, so I'm pleased I felt the fear and got on with the sewing job :)

Saturday, 3 January 2009

A felt ball

Wahee, I made a ball! I've been wanting to make one of these for about 6 years; can you believe that? But every time I've thought about it, I've never been able to work out how to sew together the six sections.

After a bit of internet browsing and putting my grey matter to work, I finally came up with my first effort. I'm so pleased with it, but am seeing a 'felt 'n' blanket stitch' theme to my work! I have to say I love working with felt. It gets a bit annoying sometimes because it likes to fray if you get the needle too near the edge, but there is something so comforting about felt and of course, I don't need to do all that hemming malarky.

This ball appeals wildly to my inner child. I ended up falling asleep with it in my hand on the day I made it LOL! It's stuffed with carded sheeps wool, so has great tactile and warming appeal. I'm going to continue with some felt projects this month to practise my sewing skills and then perhaps try something completely different during February. This gives me a decent run at trying something before I decide how much I enjoy doing it.

The ball cost a minimal amount again - a bit of felt and around 20gms of wool. It took 2 hours and my inspiration came from "Feltcraft" by Petra Berger

Darling daughter has just seen it and asked me what I'm going to call it. "Call it?" I exclaimed, "but it's a ball!". After a huge berating and 'how would you like it if you were just called 'lady'' style conversation, she has now named him Rollabout, which I think is an astonishingly cute name.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

A little wool doll

I was looking for something to do yesterday evening, but didn't want to get started on a big project (by that I mean anything longer than an hour and a half :D ) so I made a little doll from some offcuts of wool. She makes me laugh - her arms are rather rotund and I think they look like boobs instead. Perhaps she is a breastfeeding mama doll LOL!

Still, I think she is cute, but how on earth you get a good tight pair of arms, hands and head I don't know - she seems to be sprawling out all over the place. The ones in the pictures were neat little things who clearly ate all their vegetables. I think mine prefers chocolate ;)

She took about half an hour to make and I had to use my toes to press down on the threads while I tied them, so it was good exercise too. The cost of making one of these is next to nothing.

The inspiration came from "Felt craft" by Petra Berger (which is a bit odd as there is no felt on here, but there we go........) I made a little boy from some pure cotton yarn this morning and he is a bit slimmer, but his head and hands still bulk out. Without getting myself four hands I don't know how people make these things so neat!