Saturday, 1 August 2015

Knitting a Hat

I finished something I knitted.  This is the second time this has ever happened.  Someone is wearing it!  This is the first time this has ever happened!
I only started this hat on Monday, and I used the free pattern here.
 I bought some wool and circular needles on Monday.  The needles were 60cm long.  I cast on and started knitting and then the needles fell apart so I decided to use double pointed needles.  I love them.  I like that your item can be any size on them.  There is always the worry that stitches will fall off though.  Luckily I had the required 4mm needles already.
 I knitted like a demon all week, but I still did not expect to finish so fast.  I think I must have got faster as I went along.
The yarn is Zara Melange which is so soft and 100% merino.
I had never used circular needles or double pointed needles before but with a bit of help from you tube and I was away.
And here is the finished article!
On my beloved, who wore it in bed.  That makes me happy.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Making a Patchwork Drawstring Bag

I made a drawstring bag out of patchwork for my daughter.  She loves everything that is cute.
The fabric was a charm pack from Riley Blake called Snapshots.  A charm pack is a number, in this case 32, of coordinating fabrics in squares which are 5" x 5".  I cut them into quarters giving me 4 squares of each fabric which were 2.5".  I then arranged them and sewed them together to make 6 squares wide and 7 squares high.

I then quilted it with a pink fabric on the reverse and quilted 0.25" from each side of a seam.  This is my favourite quilting for squares.  I should branch out and do more lines or something.  I have done stippling but I haven't done it for ages.  

 I them made the other side of the bag.  I just made it from 4 large squares I sewed together and I put a tube on the tops of both sides to take the drawstrings.  On the 'front' this left a raw edge inside I hand sewed ribbon on to hide it.  I used linings which were from the same range of fabrics.  I have no idea what the fabrics are but I think they are Japanese.

My 'tube' for the drawstring on each side.

The lining fabrics.

The ribbon I sewed on by hand to hide the horrible raw edge when I sewed the tube on the quilted side.

To finish the bad I sewed the sides right sides together and made the bottom corners rounded. I cut off the excess fabric, turned it the right way out and sewed a line of stitching around the edge of the bag to wide the raw edge inside the bag and just finish it off nicely.

The inside showing the contrasting linings which are the same as the 'back'.  
Lastly I used some green ribbon I had lying around to make the drawstrings.  I love this bag!  My daughter does too and she has suggested she uses it as her library bag at school.  So she must like it!

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Visit to Liberty Of London

On Saturday 4th July I was lucky enough to be in London on my own with some time to myself to do what I wanted.  This is pretty rare because although I am English and grew up quite near London, I now live in Sydney, Australia and hadn't been to London at all in over 10 years!
I got off the tube at Oxford Circus and was going to Hamleys Toy Shop when I decided to take a tiny detour off Regents Street to the iconic Liberty Department Store.
It is an absolutely stunning shop inside and out.   I went to haberdashery on the 3rd floor.  I stealthily took photos, risking life and limb for you dear reader.
I share with you the few I have which I hope give you a taste until you are next in the great capital.

Jars of liberty fabric covered buttons, £11.95 for not very many....

Beautiful kits!

Beautiful Fabric Display


A stags head of course!

So I had a lovely time feasting my eyes on all the goodies.  I even bought some fabric!  They did have some precuts but not very many.  They had some hexagons and some 2.5" squares.  I got 36 squares for £9.95 in a pack.  Mine are pink and they appeared to have that or all different colours in one pack.  The hexagons were £14.95 for 30.  I nearly bought that but managed to control myself.  I will let you know what I make with the squares soon!

Friday, 5 December 2014

Making cushion covers for Little People

Some lovely friends left Sydney and loved back to the UK earlier this year.  They had two little girls so I decided to make them something to remember us by.  I felt that if I made cushion covers not only were they small enough to fit in the suitcase, but they would be used a loved for many years.  I hope I am right!

I used up some of the last of my Children at Play by Sarah Jane for the first one.
I quilted it with simple lines 0.25" from the seams.
The other side was taronga zoo fabric with an envelope opening.
I appliqued an E onto one square.  The squares were about 3.5" raw.
The other cushion for the sister used pam kitty love fabric.  I decided to make the squares smaller.  They were 3" raw.
I just love the pam kitty fabrics.  They are so my thing!
So here are the new cushion covers.  I wish I had taken pictures with them filled with cushions!
But now they are in England and maybe I will get pictures one day!

Friday, 14 November 2014

Present for a Special Person

There is a special teacher at my sons school who has been helping him in the last few months and I wanted to make her a present.  I thought about buying flowers but just wanted to do something more personal.  So I decided to make her a cushion cover.
This is it finished.  It is Amy Butler fabric mostly.  The solid is kona ash.  The dots are ta dot sea.  I love those dots!
Here it is pieced.  I used an amy butler charm pack and so the squares were 2.5" when cut and the finished squares are 2" finished.  The side strips were cut 3" wide.
I quilted it with simple lines 0.25" from the seams.  I always use a lining for my cushions. Here I used a white fabric that is quite thick and I ended up using that for the back too.
Here is the back.  I used a zip.
I finished the edges by sewing the back to front right sides together and then I cut off the excess batting etc and turned it the right way.  I then do a line of stitching about 0.25" from the edge.  I like this way and it is easy.
This gift was hand delivered today by my son and I think the recipient was happy.
The chair is not finished but that is another post.

Friday, 7 November 2014

How to make a Kids Teepee

Long time no see!  How are you?  My christmas break sort of turned into a sabbatical.
I want to get back into blogging regularly and see if my readers are still out there!
I have been making stuff and repurposing stuff so I do have some material to tell you about.

I have been trying to make a teepee that is easy to put up and doesn't just sag for a very long time.
I looked up in blogland and there were no specifics really about how to get one that can be put up fast by one person.  I found at first the teepee just slid down the sticks and was a pain.  So I have an answer to how to fix that.

I have looked back at my photos and found that I started the teepee last October - not as long ago as I thought!
The first thing I did was buy 6 x 14mm wooden poles which were about 2.4m long.  I think 5 poles might have been easier but I wanted the teepee to be nice and big - not convinced now that that made any difference.  Then I cut out 6 triangles from a pair of curtains and thought about how to keep the poles in position.  I used tabs at first like on curtains.  I quickly decided this would lead to a saggy teepee so made tubes the length of the teepee for the poles to slide into.  Here are the tabs.
See?  Saggy.
Don't do it like this.
So, once I had taken it apart and made tubes for the poles it looked like this
I am not going to give dimensions.  It will depend on how long your poles are, how many you want (4, 5 or 6 basically) and how much fabric you have.
I went for having a hole for a door.
Then I did a denim applique surround for the door.
Once I had got the teepee to this point it basically worked.  I wanted to put denim around the bottom and top to finish off the edges and work out how to make it so it didn't slip down the poles and would go up more easily.  It just took me ages to put it up each time and keep adjusting it until all the sides were straight and taut.  The children played with it like this and enjoyed it for a long time.  I couldn't work out how to finish it professionally.  I don't expect they cared.
It occurred to me that they would be too old for it by the time I finished it.  Have you had that feeling?

Then a friend found a broken one beside the road (which mostly worked) so I was able to have a good look at it.  I had looked at some in shops before but they relied on having rods of wood around the bottom... and I couldn't work out how to do these and be able to still wash it occasionally.  Plus I didn't like the idea anyway as cjildren would sit on them and roll on them and it would hurt.
The one she found had the the poles in tubes but they weren't open at the bottom, so I closed up mine.  I then worked out where I needed holes in the poles to tie string through (I had already had these but as the poles could move through it was always took ages to get it set up).  I also cut the poles shorter as at 2.4m they were too long.  Then I used other holes further down the poles to anchor the pole to a spot in the tube.  This kept the teepee from falling down the poles.
the denim feet.

There are holes near the top of the poles for the string but also holes further down in the tubes.  I threaded some yarn through these and tied them which keeps the teepee from sliding down the poles and wrinkling up.

Tada!  With bunting obviously.
Totes amazeballs right?
I know it looks wonky but it is just the angle - honestly (or photographer).

So, to recap:

  • I found that I needed to sew up the ends of the tubes so the poles stop at the bottom of the teepee.
  • Sew or tie the poles into the tubes using the hole in the pole near the top so that the the teepee doesn't slide down and wrinkle up.
  • Make holes for string at the point near the top of the poles when you have worked out how high it needs to be to make the sides taut.

This should give you a nice looking teepee which is easy to put up and down!
Good luck!

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Dolls Sleeping Bag

I made a little gift for a friends daughter.  I had promised her a dolls blanket (this one) but when I had made it I decided to keep it for my child.  So naughty, I know!
So I finally got around to making another one and I decided to make it a sleeping bag and not just a blanket.
This is the front sewn to the back with the binding stitched on but not finished off.
I had to do bias binding because of the rounded corners.  I love rounded corners.
The inside was so soft.  I used two fabrics, origin unknown, and they were both soft which is what you want for your dolls sleeping bag.
The squares I used were 3" square when finished and I cut them into 3.5" strips and used this method here.
And here it is all finished and being enjoyed by lalaloopsy.
She is very cosy.  The sleeping bag also doubles as a bag which was just lucky.  At some point I think a nice long strap for over the shoulder could be added and a button and loop fastener.
The back fabric with the lion and worm is from ikea.  All the others are unknown fabrics - we all have them!  And the recipient was happy!