Archive for the ‘Sewing Projects’ Category

…I’m back again. The basic problem with this blog is that I don’t really have time to make anything to show you…which is something of an issue for a craft blog.
Anyway that to one side I do actually have a couple of things that have been finished for a while. I made this version of a taggie blanket in the week before Beatrix was born. I didn’t even know what a taggie was until I saw a little person with one at a playdate.

The aforementioned little person seemed to like it so I thought I’d buy one for my future baby. I looked online and was gobsmacked to find that they were about £13. Err it’s just a couple of pieces of material sewn together with some ribbon on the edge….I can make that for about 50p, I thought.

(Seriously the number of companies making money out of babies because people don’t have basic sewing skills is unbelievable….although obviously I also get that a lot of people don’t have the time/inclination to make this sort of stuff once the bambino arrives).

My version uses a cut down fat quarter from a print that Liberty did for the V&A quilting exhibition. This particular design is ‘Hearts’ in green, taken from a patchwork coverlet from the 1780s and 90s.

Taggie blanket

I’m sure many of you think that making a taggie blanket from such a nice piece of material is stupid but as I thought there was a chance it might be adopted and totted around for years I wanted something that I didn’t hate the look of.

(My sister had a beautiful handmade…and I mean handmade i.e. all sewn by hand not with a machine…cot quilt that she carried around with her, it’s now completely destroyed but I’m sure it looked super cute and incredibly tastful when she was tiny. I expect my Aunt hoped it would become a family heirloom, you should see it now it’s just little threads of material hanging together like a spider web. I adopted an unattractive stripy pillow case as my comfort blanket, my sister has always had considerably better taste than me).

It’s backed with a piece of soft flannel and the ribbons around the edge are just what I happened to have in my ribbon box that ‘went’ with the quilting fabric.
So as I didn’t buy anything specifically for this project I’m going to consider it free! Babies seem to love chewing and pulling at tags on anything and everything so this would make a great baby shower gift.

Bea with taggie blanket
The most time consuming part is pinning all the ribbon on. I found the best method was to cut all the ribbon to the same length, fold them in half and then pin them approximately one cm apart from one another. It definetly looks more professional if all the ribbons are around the same length.

I’ve used a variety of ribbons including some grosgrain ones. If I’d had some velvet ones in an appropriate colour I’d have added them as I think the different textures make it more interesting for a little person.

Hope to be back soon, even if it’s just with some work in progress photos. I’ve also started my Christmas presents which is a bit of a nightmare as how do you blog about those when the people you’re making stuff for read your blog? Mmm this is a long post, I need to become more succinct, thanks for reading to the end if you’re still here.


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It was Kimberly’s birthday ages ago, and we have somehow ended up with a small tradition where we make each other a gift. Normally this is fine…but when you have a small person in your life it’s a little more difficult.

Anyway, whenever Kimberly comes to my house she waxes lyrical about a scissor keep that I made myself years and years ago so I thought I’d make her one. It has cross stitch strawberries on it and is based on a pair of Queen Victoria’s slippers (I can find no evidence for this on the net so you’ll just have to trust me!).

I’m a bit of a hoarder when it comes to craft supplies and patterns, so I thought I’d just make Kimberly an identical scissor keep. I searched high and low and unbelievably this is pretty much the only cross stitch pattern that I haven’t kept from the last 15 or so years. So it was back the drawing board. I decided to make the Celtic Bird pattern from Textile Heritage (the same company that designed the Strawberry pattern I did years ago.
Strawberry scissor keep

I love the results, however, I did not love the copious amounts of backstitch in this design. I don’t remember there being that much backstitch in the strawberry cross stitch pattern, and when I looked at it there was none on my scissor keep (but that could just be because I was lazy and didn’t bother doing it). Also the counting on this was really hard for some reason, I think the large blocks of colour on the bird were actually more difficult than the smaller sections of colour on the strawberry.
Celtic Bird Scissor Keep
Sadly the celtic bird design doesn’t have any beading on it, which I’m sure is one of the things that Kimberly likes about my original scissor keep, but never mind.

I’ve now made three things from Textile Heritage and I think the designs are great, and the patterns really easy to follow. But they do change the patterns relatively frequently so if you’re interested in making the celtic bird I’d by the kit now.

A great little project but it took many more hours than I anticipated – but late than never hey!

I’ve also been enjoying

Anticipating the six month subscription to Bustle and Sew, the online magazine, from Pam’s lovely blog Gingerbread Snowflakes

The small bunch of lily of the valley in my lounge

The fact that Beatrix rolled over from her tummy to her back for the first time yesterday!

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I really wanted to make a couple of sewn outfits for Beatrix. So before she was born I bought a couple of patterns from a French publisher called Citronille. This company has been all over blogland but I’m pretty sure that I saw it first on Posie Gets Cosy.
Citronille Lilette Dress
I’m not a dressmaker, so choosing a pattern written in French as the second piece of clothing I’ve ever made (the other being a very easy to follow Amy Butler apron pattern, although it was a little on the technical side as it had pleats and such like) was possibly a little ambitious. The pattern is called Lilette and you can make it with either ties (which is what I did) or buttons. It also has a pattern for a cute pair of pants that were incredibly easy and could be made to match any dress.

Citronille Lilette Dress

Modeled by Little Miss Ruffles

In the picture on the Citronille website the dress is worn the other way round to this, but I prefer to keep the ties at the front so that Beatrix isn’t lying on them when she’s on her back (which is where she spends a large amount of her time).

I confess that this outfit was made before Bea was born and although it was pretty straightforward I did struggle with the French (thank goodness for Google Translate). It’s been given a difficulty level of 1, and I think if it was written in English I’d have found it very straight forward. I actually did the main bulk of the sewing on the pants when I was in the early stages of labour!

I think the sizing comes up pretty small. Bea is an average size for her age and although this is a three to six month pattern I really can’t see it lasting very long. I’d like to make this pattern in bigger sizes, although I have to say I’m not sure how I’ll find the time at the moment.

Citronille Lilette

The view from behind (although really this is just an excuse to show you a picture of Beatrix looking cute while she's asleep)

The fabric is 100% cotton and I bought it at my local fabric store in London for £1.99 a metre – I know, how amazingly cheap is that! I have a blue flower print that I’d like to use to make one in a different size.

I have another pattern called Saskia which is long sleeved that I’d like to make for winter, does anyone know if you can line things in fannel or something else similar for extra warmth?

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I wanted to make a present for a friend of mine who has a new baby. Obviously with a new baby myself it needed to be something that was pretty quick, it also needed to use materials that I already had in the house.

Some time ago I spotted a really lovely gift on Inchmark (this blog has lovely photography so check it out if you get a chance). It’s a basic book bag, and then all the family members purchased their favourite children’s book to go in the bag.

So I had the materials for a bag (trusty Ikea fabric, sturdy and also pretty!), and I used the instructions on the Purl Bee for their 20 minute tote. I also added a pocket to the front for a library card to go in (that’s assuming of course that libraries still exist in the UK by the time baby Martha is reading…which is by no means a certainty).
20 minute tote book bag
Then I did a little embroidery underneath the pocket (just running stitch).

I’m really pleased with the results. I would have added my favourite children’s book but I’m not sure I have one…and also I thought it was silly to order a book from the UK, get it posted here, and then send it back to the UK.
Book bag close up
So instead I knitted another Milo vest to go with the bag – I know, I know, but I can do the pattern easily and I think it’s really cute! I need to find a similarly easy and yet cute pattern as this one is getting a little dull to knit.

Sorry the pictures aren’t so great, the light wasn’t really good enough.

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Baby towel

Way back in the summer when we went to France with Kimberly and Simon I bought a couple of bibs with cross stitch panels, which I showed you here, and a towel with a cross stitch panel on the hood. They were purchased from the market in Selles-sur-Chere, I remember thinking that the towel was quite dear so it was probably around eight euros.
Bea after her bath
After much searching for a suitable pattern I found that I already had one in my cupboard. I don’t remember buying this pattern so if I borrowed it from you then please let me know so that I can return it.

I think it looks very cute on Little Miss Bea, and you’ll be pleased to hear that it stands up to being machine washed, and tumble dried.

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So apparently boxes, and baskets and such like are useful when you have a baby – well according to the ‘Gifts for Baby’ book anyway.

So I bought a couple of baskets from Ikea and I’ve used the leftover fabric from the baby’s room curtains to line the baskets. I used some instructions from the ‘Gifts for Baby’ book, which were pretty good, although I’m not entirely sure that my execution was of them was so great, particularly in the corners.
Storage baskets
I’ve also made one of the Purl Bee’s ‘Molly’s sewn stash baskets’. The fabric from Ikea is pretty stiff so I didn’t use the mid-weight stabiliser that they recommended. This is a pretty large basket, I don’t think it would be difficult to make a smaller one though.

I love this fabric, it’s such a great colour combination and I’m thinking if we have any other children it would suit boys as well as girls. Ikea fabric is such great value for money.

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Hi all, my lack of blogging is not because the baby has arrived, it’s because I’ve been busy preparing for the baby to arrive…and doing lots of craft projects.

I am very pleased with this project, it looks brilliant even if I do say so myself. At the moment we have stumbled across a slight problem with actually getting this to hang above the cot, which is why I’ve photographed it outside.
Flower mobile
It’s made from lovely 100% wool felt (I know I didn’t really need to use this as it’s not going to be handled but look how lovely the colours are). The felt came from Myriad Toys, which is a LOVELY website (how cute are the puzzles, and the dolls houses, and basically everything they have on the site).

I used a pattern to make this from the book ‘Gifts for Babies’. I didn’t love how it looked in the book, because let’s be honest pink on pink is a little overly girly, and not exactly eye catching. So I made it in six different colours, and I’ve used an old embroidery hoop to hang them from.
Close up of flower mobile
This was pretty easy, although the zigzag stitch around the edge of the flowers was a little on the tricky side. Pretty chuffed with how it’s turned out.

(Although I see that I’ve managed to take a close-up of a bit that’s less than neat – annoying).

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