Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Hot air balloon shopper

I have a thing about hot air balloons.  Every time I see one I have to go outside and just watch it float past.

Perhaps it's the way they soar seemingly effortlessly across the blue sky. 

Perhaps it's the colours. 

Perhaps there doesn't have to be a reason.

So can you imagine how excited I was when I discovered a hot air balloon tablecloth?

Well, I had to make something out of it, didn't I? 


So I made a shopper.

What I like about it is how sturdy it is, being vinyl tablecloth and all.  It can carry pretty much everything that you want to put in it.  Everything!

The handles are doubled up so that they are more comfortable to hold.

And the inner seams are taped to provide extra strength and a neater finish.

I'm planning on making either a backpack or a flight bag from hot air balloons at some point. 

Watch this space!

And perhaps one day I might even go up in one!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Berries bag

When I see some fabric with potential that I love, it doesn't matter whether it comes from a skirt, dress or fleece blanket, I just have to have it and use it to create something delicious that I'd love to use myself.

So when I found a preloved burgundy cord skirt it just had to come home with me (I have a thing about cord).  I could look past the mumsy-ness of it and see a bag waiting to get out.

And then I thought, why stop at a cord skirt - why not pair it with some fabric from a dress that I already have (which was far too small when I bought so I converted it into a skirt and wore for ages!)

So I did.

I made a saddle bag out of it.

The O rings came from an existing bag that I had but no longer loved.

The frill was created from cutting off the very bottom of the dress/skirt (above).  So much easier than cutting some fabric and turning a tiddly little hem!

The interior was created from an off-cut of a pair of curtains.

The bag itself is expandable with poppers to let it out if need be.

Or keep it small and petite if desired.

I can't wait for my next project now!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Butterfly bags

A butterfly bag.

Plain and simple.

Apparently, the only thing that one little girl would like for Christmas.

I saw the fabric and just knew that I had to have it.  It's perfect.

The zip was trimmed with some matching gingham and a ready-made handle added.

It's lined with Barbie pink satin.  And it's tiny.  As all good things are.

Wish I could be a fly on the wall!

Tablecloth aprons

You may have noticed that vinyl tablecloths are one of my new favourite things :)

It's so darned versatile!!

So I added a pocket and plenty of cotton tape and made a child's apron.

And another one...

And then a full-sized adult version.  As you do.

I might even see if there are any festive tablecloths to tinker with...

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Lavender bags

Which comes first - fabric or inspiration?

Sometimes it's neither!

Sometimes it's as simple as someone giving me a huge bag of locally grown dried lavender.

Then I find the fabric.

Then I find the ribbon.

Then I decide on what shape to make the bags.  If I'm making something with a heritage, I always like to know if there are any particular traditional shapes associated.  But it seems there weren't with lavender bags.

So as the fabric was cherries, I thought I'd make the first bag in a sort of bowl shape and call it 'Life'.

Then I made a square one too.

They smell really yummy!

I have enough lavender to create a whole host of other items too - watch this space :)

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Tots fleece dress

Libraries.  Not somewhere I would normally associate with inspiration for making children's clothes.  But when I found one particular brand new book I was jumping up and down with excitement as I knew the perfect little girl I could make something for!

There were pattern pieces in the back but I had to tear them out to trace the one that I needed.  And as I was the first person to take the book out I thought it best to ask.  So off I go to the library again just to double-check that it was ok to tear something out of a book (sacrilege!) 

They were more than happy.

The pattern itself was for a girl's summer dress.  But I wanted something that she could wear this time of year when it's a little brrrrrrrrrrrrrr-y.

What better fabric than fleece?

I fell in love with the fleece hearts on this brand new blanket.  See, why should it be used as a blanket when there's a perfectly beautiful dress just waiting to get out?

It was lined with some fleece from the pyjama bottoms I made a while back to make it into a reversible dress.

Two looks for the price of one!

I cut out a flower and appliqued it to the front, added some satin bias binding to the bottom and it was done!

The ties do up at the top of the dress to keep it on.

I do hope it's long enough though!  But even if it isn't, I could probably convert the ties to either button holes or snap fasteners. 

I'll let you know!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

A place for ones pegs

You see, the thing is, I love sewing.  Anything. 

You might have guessed. 

So when a friend asked me for a peg bag I thought - never made one, but let me figure out how. 

So I did.

I thought long and hard about what size, design, colour.  Then I added my favourite fabric of the fortnight (vinyl tablecloths) and had a play.

I designed it myself and I like the way that it turned out; the roundedness of it; the colour.

I added some bias binding around the hole, added a coat hanger and ta-dah - a peg house :)

Next time I'll figure out a better way of getting the coat hanger in there without struggling LOL - still, it's a prototype, but a very workable prototype.

I think I'll make one for myself too!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

*Roadtest results* - polka dot lunch bag

You may remember that I went up to London for lunch with some friends last week.  It was great to see everyone again!

The lunch bag itself held up to being carried across London - the tupperware container and all its contents stayed the right way up.  There were no spillages of any description whatsoever <grin>.  The handle was comfortable and just the right length.  The velcro strap between the handles worked well to keep the bag closed.  And I loved the polka dots!

But surely it wasn't perfect first time out?  Well, not perfect, no, there were a couple of things that I would alter slightly for the next version...

So what have I changed already?

I've added some velcro at the top inner corners to prevent the bag from gaping open or the cottage cheese tub from skittering about on top of the container.

What would I change for next time?

I'd make sure the bottom was a teensy bit more solid.

Anything else?

Oh, I might just line it with more tablecloth fabric to make it wipeable inside and out.

And I'd love to make it with proper oilcloth in the future and see how that feels to work with. 

You'll be sure to hear about it here when I've had a go :)

Thursday, 8 December 2011

King's horses and King's men

Humpty.  Someone we all remember from childhood, right?

So I had a go at making one. 

I chose to use preloved fabric - because that's what I love doing.  His head and hands are made from a velour towel so he's really soft.  Meanwhile his shirt and arms are made from my daughter's school dress (well, I'm sure she would have grown out of it by next summer anyway!).  His brown cord trousers are made from the same fabric that I used to create the dog coat.  And everything else is made from felt including his boots.

 He looks even more impressive when he's sitting on the stairs as his knees are sewn ensuring that he can bend them and sit up straight properly!

But when he takes a tumble the velcro on his arms and legs ensures that 3 year olds can play out the nursery rhyme over and over.

I think those King's horses and King's men may have their work cut out - poor thing!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Sewing ain't for sissies

I met a friend from Sweden a couple of months ago.  It was so lovely to see her again. 

She brought me a gift - I was so touched by it.  She had seen it in Sweden, thought of me and bought it, wrapped it up in beautiful butterfly paper and brought it in her luggage all the way over to England.

It was a wonderful metal sewing tin which contained a large pair of scissors, retractable tape measure and seam unpicker (which I was told I probably wouldn't need, but let's be honest, it's probably one of the most used items in my sewing kit!)

I just adore the sentiment on the lid :)

Thanks, K!