June’s projects

June saw not much progress on the house front but I got some sewing done;

June's projects

Projects from Patchwork, Please! my first ever bee block (check out the speedy Lynne who has already pieced the top), paper piecing, a quilt top for Siblings Together and on Saturday I organised a Dress A Girl Around the World event in which 36 dresses were stitched and more taken home to be finished.

With a lot of hard work I hope that July will be the month of a floor in our extension and a kitchen.  So who knows if there will any sewing but there may be a new sewing space for me!

Linking up with:

Lily's Quilts

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My oh my what a freezing cold month it has been.  Despite other stuff going on here I’ve spent a fair bit of time with my sewing machine:

February makes
1. You Little Ripper!, 2. Triple zip pouches, 3. Patchwork journal cover – commission, 4. Bunting Commission

In January I did some quilt pattern testing.  In February I basted, quilted and bound the quilt, not sure if I should be showing you as the patterns not been released yet, so here’s just a little peek:

Pattern test baby quilt

I helped out at a Dress a Girl Around the World evening that a friend organised.  We managed to complete 16 dresses and had a pile of others that needed finishing.  I took along a couple of double sheets from my vintage stash along with a pile of pillowcases – you may well recognise some of them below:

I also did some pattern testing for Kristy at Quiet Play:

0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

I tested the whole set of numbers and punctuation, Kristy has now released them for sale and you can purchase them here.

My major project and finish this month is this large beauty:

Starburst Quilt

You can read more about it here if you’d like the detail.

Who knows what March will bring, hopefully some warmer weather!  This weekend our kitchen will be taken apart, my sewing things have mostly been packed away, but I may have started another quilt!

Linking up with:

Lily's Quilts


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Kids Clothes Week Challenge

Have you signed up for this?

Twice a year over at Elsie Marley, Meg runs a week where she challenges you to sew for an hour a day for your children (or someone else’s), that hour might include tracing patterns and cutting fabric, or for the more adventurous designing patterns!

I took part last spring (I had too many other things on in the Autumn) and it was a great incentive to sew for my children.  I’ve just had a look back through what I did (starting here) and am amazed at how much I achieved!  In fact part of my sewing was for Dress A Girl Around the World so if you don’t have children to sew for you could still join in.

So I’m starting to think about what I might sew this time around, do you fancy joining in?

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Dress A Girl Around the World evening

Last week I ran a sewing evening at my friend Rachels’ house.  We had 15 lovely ladies join us along with seven sewing machines, a pile of fabric, a Guiness cake and a dog and cat!

I’d spent some time in the afternoon cutting out dresses so they were ready for the ladies to sew when they arrived.  Most ladies had some sewing experience, so armed with instructions, elastic and bias binding they got on.

Dress a girl evening

Some of the ladies made yo yo’s/suffolk puffs and pockets to add to the dresses

Fabric flower

Dress a girl evening

I’d posted on my facebook page about the evening asking if anyone local had fabric to spare then we would happily turn it into dresses for them.  The lovely Donna Flower replied immediately and the next day I received a parcel of vintage fabrics in the post, it was almost all turned into dresses on the evening, these are a couple of the dresses we made with Donna’s donation:

Pillow case dresses

At this stage they don’t have pockets but I’m fairly sure they were added at a later point in the evening.

By the end of the evening 13 dresses were complete, there are not 13 pictured here but there were in the same fabrics as these.  We also had a donation of genuine African fabrics from a friend whose husband goes out to Malawi with his school to do some work each summer.  These fabrics were were quite stunning and culturally very appropriate.

Pillowcase dresses

It was a very fun but exhausting evening, I don’t think I stopped talking!  If you fancy getting involved then please do, Louise is the charity’s representative in the UK and co-ordinates getting dresses to where they need to go.  If you can help with getting dresses delivered overseas please contact her, I know she would be delighted if you could help.  If you’re not in the UK and want to get involved visit the Dress a Girl homepage.

Thanks very much to Rachel for hosting the evening and to all those how sewed, ironed and made tea!  I’d love to do it again.

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I’m running a Dress a Girl Around the World sewing evening tonight. My friend Rachel is hosting it at her house and this week we’ve been liaising to make sure everything is ready. She emailed me on Wednesday evening and mentioned that she had a new ironing board cover, I had said I would also take my iron and board (we have 20 ladies coming so hopefully will need both), but could I take this?

Before a new ironing board cover!

Eeeek!  One of my brothers had it at university, it’s his birthday on Sunday and I’m guessing that his university days were 20 years ago!  Oh goodness it’s not had a new cover in all that time, I’m fairly sure it’s had a new pad but not a new cover.

So as Tobi is on leave from work today he did the school run  and I took the opportunity to get some fabric ironed ready for tonight and then pulled out some fabric to cover my board with.  I refered to Randi’s sew-along post but as I was short of time I opted to use just one fabric:

New Ironing Board cover!

Now doesn’t that look a whole lot better?  Am I ashamed any longer? No way! I gave Tobi some errands to run at the local DIY store and added a new pad to his list, so a new cover and a new pad all in one morning! He then also fixed the leg catch thing and the bit where the iron sits! None of it took long, why had I left it so long?

Randi hosts a sew-along every month so go over and have a look at what else is going on.

Right I need to go and sort everything ready for tonight!  I’ll let you know how it goes.

(Fabric: Amy Butler, Nigella home decor range, pink Imperial Fans, even better it was on sale at £6.00 per metre a year or so ago)

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Fabric and stuff

Back in the middle of January I wrote a post called Resolved to Sew 2012 as an entry to a big giveaway that Ali was hosting at Very Berry Handmade.  Well imagine my delight after a long day out at the Eden Project I checked my email to see that I had won the bloggers prize.  This meant that I had first choice of all the prizes on offer, it wasn’t too difficult and I chose the £40 gift voucher to spend at Fancy Moon.  I’ve not shopped there before but have often perused the website day dreaming about which fabrics I would buy!  So knowing I had money to spend there I spent a while browsing their off-beat, kitsch collection of fabrics, they have a great selection of Japanese imports too.

But would you believe it while there were lots of fabrics that appealed none of them shouted ‘pick me, pick me’?  I was wearing my sensible hat and having written in my Resolved to Sew post about the Oh My Star quilt along I knew that at some point hopefully in the not too distant future I would be needing some wadding/batting to make a quilt sandwich.  So I made the decision to spend all my winnings on batting.  Hence no photograph!  Yes it really isn’t that stunning to look at!

So a great big thank you to Ali for hosting the giveaway and to Fancy Moon for their generosity.  They still have a sale on so it’s worth popping over and taking a peek.

The same weekend I won a giveaway on Melissa’s blog Sew Bitter Sweet Designs.  The giveaway was sponsored by the Fat Quarter Shop and I received a Lazy Angle ruler:


which as yet I’ve been too lazy busy to use, along with a layer cake:


Not really my taste in fabrics but winners can’t be choosy (not in this case anyway) and I might just use it to play with my new ruler!

Pop on over now to Melissa’s blog she’s got another giveaway running of charm packs from the Fat Quarter Shop it ends on March 2nd at 9pm Pacific time.

Is now the time to mention that I then won a $50 credit to the Fat Quarter Shop on craftytammie’s blog as part of her Sew Full of Love series?  It wasn’t hard to spend it, but I did spend ages looking and then consulted Tobi too!  I ended up going for some Mechanical Genius by Mo Bedell:

Mechanical Genius

Half a yard of each, I have vague plans for it, I wanted something that would be useful for older boys not just young ones.

I also got a yard of this in the sale:

Smirk Geeks Gone Wild

Geeks Gone Wild by Kyla May for Timeless Treasures, I have vague plans for this too!

This Friday I’m running a Dress A Girl Around the World evening at a friends house, I posted about it on my facebook page yesterday requesting that if anyone local had fabric spare we’d be willing to sew it for them. Well, the lovely Donna Flower responded almost immediately saying she would send me some and look what arrived today, beautifully packaged:

Parcel from Donna Flower

Lengths of fabric for us to use:

Vintage fabrics

I’m a little concerned that one of them might be a bit sheer for dresses, I find it quite hard to tell but I’m thinking that I could get one of the ladies to make hairbands or flowers and pockets to decorate the dresses.  Any suggestions/tutorials for quick and easy things that could go with the dresses all gratefully received.

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Summer Sewing Plans – mid term review!

So, back at the beginning of May I signed up to Summer Sewing Plans hosted by Sarah at Fairy Face Designs. I’m now just reviewing where I am with those plans!

I’d already signed up for Kids Clothes Week Challenge and during that week managed to sew 2 pairs of shorts, finished 4 more pillowcase dresses for Dress a Girl Around the World, here’s Leah modelling one:
Pillowcase dresses from duvet cover

sewed 2 more pairs of Big Butt Baby Pants for my boy as he’d almost grown out of the ones I made last year.

Big Butt Baby Pants - Wheels back

Big Butt Baby Pants - All Star back

I finished the appliquéd t-shirts that I had started and they are being worn a lot, I think the girls like the dog one particularly because Mathias says ‘gog’ alot (which means dog) and it makes us all laugh!

Applique t-shirt with dog

Applique t-shirt with bike

I wanted to make myself a bag (read more about it here) and I did!  I use it most days and I love it!

Runaround Bag

One of my more ambitious plans I felt was to make myself a top.  At the time of writing in May I really didn’t think I could do it and then I came across the Sorbetto Tank Top pattern by Colette a free download so what had I to lose?  If you were reading last week you would have seen my post about it, well I started another one on Friday night and would have had it finished that evening if it weren’t for my lack of attention!  I sewed the bias binding on the right side  rather than the wrong side which meant I needed to undo it.  However our delightful children obliged with an early morning call on Saturday and once I’d sorted breakfast for them at 6:45 I got on and finished the top (yes still in my pyjamas!).  Here it is:

I’ve done this one differently, reversed the front pleat so it’s on the outside and only stitched it part way down rather than all the way to the bottom.  I quite like it.  I’m debating whether or not to add some buttons to the front, will have a look and see what is in the blue button jar!  The fabric came from a dress my mum passed on to me, I’ve already made Bethan a pair of shorts out of it!

I planned vaguely to sew a bike basket for my daughters 4th birthday – that was last month and I didn’t do it, Leah has taken the basket off Bethans’  bike and both seem happy about that so I don’t think I will be making one now!

I have made some progress with the Kaffe Fassett handkerchief corner quilt – some of the blocks have been sewn into strips so it could be finished before the end of the summer.  I think it will just depend on what else distracts me and I suppose the fact that there is now only 2 weeks before school and preschool break up and there are a number of end of term events in the calendar at which a parent should attend!

I’ve not yet made a start on making an Amy Butler ditty bag for my boy, I’ve got fabric that would be good for it…

Ok, so that was everything on my list, only 3 things not done/finished and there is a whole load of other stuff that I have been doing that wasn’t on my list.  I’ll see if I can finish the quilt and make a ditty bag before the summer ends!

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Project: Freezer paper stencils

If you’re looking for the giveaway just scroll down the page, it’s at the bottom of the post below.

Way back in March I joined in the Dress a Girl Around the World sew-along hosted by Little Big Girl Studio, one of the guest bloggers was Amy from During Quiet Time.  Amy posted a tutorial about freezer paper stencilling and ever since then I’ve been wanting to have a go.  Now, for those of us who live in the UK you may well know that freezer paper is not a widely available item and certainly never to be found in supermarkets.  It is a craft shop item.  I got mine from Saints and Pinners and they had only recently started stocking it.

So with a bit of time on my hands and some motivation to finish these dresses that have been sat around patiently waiting for almost a month (I have just checked and am pleased because I thought it was longer than that!) I came up with a simple flower shape and got on with it.  I’m not going to write a tutorial on it because Amy’s is so good I don’t see the point!

Anyway this is what I did last night:

I left it to dry for 6 hours as instructed by Amy and peeled off the paper to reveal this today:

Do you know for a first attempt I’m really quite pleased.  Now all I need to do is finish the dress, it needs binding on the armholes up into straps to tie over the shoulders.

Ok, so I have one more plain pillowcase to experiment on – should I do another flower or something more adventurous?  Please bear in mind I only have red fabric paint!  If you’re local and have pots of paint sat around needing to be used feel free to send them this way!

Don’t forget the giveaway below…

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KCWC – day 3

OK, here we are day 3 and I have finished 4 pillowcase dresses that I started over a week ago using this duvet cover.  I finished hemming the dresses on Monday and last night started work on pockets.  I wanted to do something a little bit more exciting with the pockets than I’d previously done and happened to have a quick peek at other dresses in the Dress a Girl Around the World Sew-along flickr pool. I found a lovely couple of dresses with cute pockets and followed the blog link to here (hope you like joining me in my travels!) Rachel made the pockets following Rae’s tutorial here.  It’s pretty straightforward – as with all tutorials read the whole thing through before you start otherwise you might end up like me shaping the pocket long rather than wide – fortunately I had masses of fabric so just cut another one!

In the past my girls wouldn’t help out with modelling the dresses but for some reason today Leah was really keen.  So I took a lot of photo’s as she wanted to do all sorts of crazy moves!  She’s been listening to the Sneetches by Dr Seuss and so kept striking poses and saying ‘you’re the fix it up chappy’!  Here is a selection of the less crazy photo’s!

So while each dress is similar I wanted them all to be different, can you spot the difference between each one?  The pocket on the last one looks enormous, but the pockets are all the same size,  I think that really the dresses are too big for her, they are tied up as tight as they can go on the shoulder, but I’m not complaining about a helpful model!

I might be back tomorrow…

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Summer Sewing Plans

I’m not sure I dare write this post but feel like I’ve been challenged (in a very nice way) to do so by Sarah at FairyFace Designs.  She really just wants to see what you’ll be sewing this summer.  I thought it would be an interesting exercise for me to make and list and then see how I do.  So here goes:

  1. I’ve signed up for Kids Clothes Week Challenge (KCWC) which is next week – just noticed that the blog post title includes the words Spring 2011, is that allowed in a post about summer sewing?  My plans include sewing more shorts (previous pairs seen in this post) for my girls using this pattern
  2. Finish the Kaffe Fassett handkerchief corner quilt (please bear in mind this has been on the go for approximately 6 years!)
  3. Finish 4 more pillowcase dresses for Dress a Girl Around the World
  4. Make myself a bag using the Runaround bag pattern by Anna at Noodlehead, I think I might spend more time choosing the fabric than making the bag!
  5. Sew a bike basket for my daughters 4th birthday next month
  6. Sew more Big Butt Baby Pants for my boy as he has almost grown out of the ones I made last year
  7. Make myself a top
  8. Make an Amy Butler ditty bag for my boy, the girls already have one each
  9. Finish the t-shirt appliqués I started this week!

I think that might have to be it for now, it’s certainly enough to keep me busy for a while, also I need to bear in mind that school holidays might mean I don’t have so much time to sew…

I’d love to know what you’ll be sewing and if you don’t usually, why not find one thing to do?  As I finish writing this it’s pouring with rain outside – not so summery today :-(

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