Friday, 27 April 2012

Taggy turtle

[Spoiler warning: If you're in my I-spy swap and don't want to see any of the fabrics before your package arrives in the mail, look away now! This project uses the scrappy bits left over after I cut my charms.]

Yesterday I was cleaning the house, washing, shopping, tidying browsing Pinterest and surfing through the blogs it led me to, when I found this cute little pattern from Make It Love It (a great blog with lots of free patterns and lovely ideas).

I was planning on sewing a taggy snuggle blanket for a friend's baby, so it became a taggy turtle instead!

As normal, I'm incapable of following a pattern without adapting it somehow. I shrunk this a little from the original, cut the shell pieces in half (because the scraps I was using were only that big, and it worked well for adding my tags), switched out the feet for ribbon tags and added small ribbon tags along the seams.

I think he's gorgeous, and I hope his new owners will too.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Packages in the mail

Today the postman brought me three packages! I like getting packages. These had I-spy charms in them.

Now I have 10 of the 16 batches for this swap. There's still a few weeks until the charms are due, so I might have to be patient for the others. Something I'm never very good at.

We've decided not to post pictures of our fabrics, so we each get a surprise when our packages come in the mail. So I'm not going to show what I've received until the other swappers have received their charms.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Pinafore or crossover apron

I saw this image on Pinterest. Can anyone help me with either a) where this image comes from, or b) where I can find a pattern for a similar adult crossover back apron?

Hmmm. Answered part of my own question: the image is from here: Pip-Squeak Chapeau etc. And a possible pattern here: Simplicity Pattern 5201 or here: Scalloped Apron Pattern from Candle on the Hill.

But with everything out here on the net, still think there must be a free pattern on a blog somewhere! I love this: Smashed Peas and Carrots' Little Girl's Crossover Pinafore, but I don't think that's going to fit me!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Some stash fillers and their present/project bag

Yesterday I went to a birthday party for a friend and as I know she's a knitter, I gave her two balls of yarn and some needles. Everyone can use more fancy yarn in their stash!

The yarn was one ball of "Plassard Pastorale" in colour 09 and one ball of "Plassard Oh La La" in colour 112. Both are dark reds, purples, browns and pinks, and the Pastorale has some yellow and green through it. (It seems that the Pastorale is an old line that is no longer available. Guess they were selling off the last of their stock at my local yarn shop -LYS).

Oh La La is a type of netting yarn. It knits up into really funky ruffles eg:here.

The needles are Clover bamboo, 5.5mm and 23cm long. I love working with these short needles if my project fits, because they take so much less elbow room! And the Clover bamboo needles are lovely on my hands.

Then I had to find something to present this in. Now I love a fancy parcel but I have a fundamental objection to wrapping paper. I do admit to resorting to it when I don't have the time, the money or even the personal motivation to fix anything else, but in principle I think the concept of gift wrapping paper is seriously unenvironmentally friendly. Most wrapping paper looks like it is not made from recycled materials and will be hard to recycle, it rarely seems to end up in the recycling bin, and it serves no useful purpose. It is use of materials purely for a fleeting, cosmetic purpose. So wasteful.

Consequently, I often try to sew fabric bags or wraps that can be regifted or repurposed. I know friends and family have stashes of my bags now (that they always seem to strategically use for their own closest family members, so they rarely make it back to me so I can reuse them! Hmph.) Apparently I've also inspired others to sew bags; my sister in law's mother now has a supply of christmas bags too!

Back to yesterday's parcel: I decided that I wanted to sew a little present bag, that could also be used as a project bag for a work-in-progress or WIP. Looking through my fabric stash, I couldn't find any lightweight fabric that I felt suited this friend. But then I remembered that I have a box full of samples from a store where I worked that sold upholstery fabric. When the range changed, I was allowed to take the old pages from the sample book. Perfect! And so I made this:

How did i do it?

I picked out some dark orange squares, and found an embroidered band that I bought years ago in a market in Ecuador. I've not yet found anything to use these bands on, and I have a few in my stash.

I cut the paper off the edge of the sample rectangles, and rounded the two bottom corners. I folded down the top edges, and used my machine's hemming stitch to sew them down as discretely as possible. I straight stitched the band to the rectangles, right sides together, and overlapped the ends of the band at one side. I zigzagged the fabric edge to stop it fraying.

Then, because it gaped open and I wanted it a little more closed as I handed it over, I sewed a ribbon loop to one top edge, and sewed the middle of a piece ribbon to the other. One end of the ribbon goes through the loop, and tie it in a bow. Da da!

Simple but I think it was very effective. :)