Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Absolutely A-Line

My current sewing has meant that I've been doing some for Frances too - who can't resist making a dress for a 4 year old that refuses to wear anything other than dresses?  This phase seems to have been going on for quite some time, but I'm sure it won't last forever.  Anyway, I've got a book called Absolutely A-Line by Wendi Gratz.  It's basically a pattern for an A-line dress with 26 different ideas of versions to make.   I've made it a few times for Frances, the latest of which is here:

While I've been looking through my fabric stash recently, thinking what I can make, Frances saw this material and really liked it.  I think it came from my Nanna's shop (she used to have a Haberdashery shop in N. London) and has sat around for years (she sold the shop in the late 80s to give you an idea how long!).  My thought was to try to make her a maxi dress.  I made the bodice part as per the pattern and then just left the rest of the fabric uncut, gathered it onto the bodice and hemmed it. 

Easy peasy and one happy girl.

Monday, 24 March 2014


I've been watching the Great British Sewing Bee recently - and have really been enjoying it.  For good, or bad, it's inspired be to do some more dressmaking. 

I've been trying to concentrate on doing crafty projects that involve using stuff from my stash (whether fabric or yarn), and also not to buy any patterns.  I did slip up and bought a pattern for a dress for Frances - but on the whole I'm doing OK.  I was poking around on the internet and found the Sorbetto pattern - a free pattern by Colette Patterns for a very simple sleeveless top.  I also found the 7 days of Sorbetto where sew weekly makes 7 Sorbetto's in 7 days.  She added a sleeve to her tops and provided a copy of what she'd used for the sleeve, but after a bit more poking around on the internet I found a better drafting of her sleeve

And the result? 

I know there are three photos, but I've ended up with 2 tops... I used an old sheet for one, which I then dyed to be a greeny colour - unfortunately the dye didn't take properly in a couple of places, so in came a few appliqued trees.  And the tree one is from an old cot duvet cover I found at our local Brocki (so not really from my stash, but I think I can live with 4chf) .  I made my own biased binding, added the sleeve as mentioned before and altered the neckline so that it's a bit more of a v-shape.  I also graded between 3 sizes so that it fits better - it's quite loose fitting, but I think looks fine and is comfortable to wear.

Now, back to my quilt (that you can see in progress in the background) or some more dressmaking - let's see what the GBSB inspires me to do this week...

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Planting seeds

Last weekend the kids and I planted some seeds.  We planted:  Hollyhock, Dahlias, Tomatoes (San Marzano), Sweet Corn, Habenero Peppers, Runner Beans, Pumpkins, Carnations, Aubergine and Artichoke.  We've already had some germination, but I suspect the viability of some of the seeds won't be great as the seeds are quite a few years old - one of my plans for this growing season is to plant as many of the seeds we already have so that we can start fresh next year. 

I'm looking forward to having a proper growing season here, rather than the stunted Finnish one - unfortunately we have no garden, but we should be able to make good use of our balcony space.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Travel pillows

Also for our upcoming trip to Vietnam I've made a couple of travel pillows for the kids - hopefully so they can sleep on the plane and be all daisy fresh when we arrive... ha ha ha!

I used this tutorial and pattern and stuffed them with polyfil. 

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Passport cover

I've been busy doing some sewing recently:  One of my recent projects has been a passport cover for Rory's passport.  Frances was given one by her Auntie when she was little covered in strawberries, and we've looked for one for Rory's passport with no luck. 

I found a couple of tutorials on pinterest and mostly followed this one at hollydollyblog: 

I appliqued some green aeroplanes on (Rory says his favourite colour is green) - the applique stitching isn't great - I think my sewing machine needs a proper clean and service.  I got the template for the aeroplanes from pinterest too..   so now we're one step closer to our trip to Vietnam in a months time.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

small round stone:  270
bacon cat:  278

combined:  548

Found that Zen isn't actually in our scrabble dictionary - which really surprised us both (it wasn't looked up until late in the game when we were clutching at straws).