Sunday, 13 May 2012

ICHF Creative Stitches and Hobby craft plus weekend fun!

On Saturday I went to ICHF Creative Stitches and Hobby craft exhibition.  I have to say I was a little disappointed really.  I suppose I was expecting more stitching stuff or better prices at a show but really there wasn't much I went "wow" over.  I did however spot some grey moda walk in the woods fabric but it was only in charm packs and I really want yardage so I was disappointed with that.  I couldn't get over how many stands there were with beads or that were pretty much unrelated to crafting at all.  One stand was supreme nails.  Now they were the only stall I bought from but how are they craft related really?  I did however buy some fabulous nail pens from them.  I currently have cow print finger nails which I am a little in love with.  I also have a rogue strawberry on my pinky finger, though my husband tells me it looks nothing like a strawberry.  Opinions are very much welcomes (but only if you agree with me! )

I wanted to take loads of pictures in Brighton especially as I was childless however I forgot to put the memory card in my camera so I had a camera but no way of taking photos which was disappointing.  The day was lovely and we found an amazing antique shop in the Lanes.  There were all sorts of wonderful things in there including a giant telescope and some fabulous antique jewellery.  I utterly fell in love with an 18ct gold bangle with loads of old cut diamonds.  Shame I didn't have £3k knocking around really.

Today we went to Lakeside Country Park and went on a miniature steam train which was great fun!  Jake had a whale of a time as he loves all things train/Thomas related.  We also stopped at a park halfway round and almost sent the boys into orbit.

I've been a bit rubbish on the sewing front the last couple of weeks.  I couldn't tell you exactly what it was that's put me in a downer but I do need to make one really amazing dress I think to boost my confidence back up.  I also think I need to try and make a different dress.  There's the most gorgeous chiffon dress in this months Sew magazine which I might have a crack at during the evenings this week.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Cars dress

Well this weekend I have mainly been trying to get a Disney Cars dress made.  This didn't happen over the weekend at all.  We had my stepdaughter this weekend so mostly the plans for sewing went out the window.  I did manage to cut the pieces which turned out to be an absolute disaster as my C (my stepdaughter) decided to write on the fabric.  I am less than impressed as C is 8 and more than old enough to know you don't draw or write on things that a) don't belong to you and b) aren't paper.  She also decided to write "Jakes" on it.

Thankfully it's mostly come out with a wipe from a baby wipe and when it's washed it'll totally come out.  Thanks C.

So after the writing disaster I decided to try and get it done while Daniel was sleeping and Jake was engrossed in cars and painting  This didn't quite go to plan as Jake decided to 'help' me pin, and then screwed up all my bias binding.  Thanks Jake.  He did look incredibly cute (and messy) when painting though so all is forgiven.

As a result it did take me about two hours to get to the sewing stage which went fairly well.  The dress isn't finished though as the bias tape I was using was just awful thanks to being screwed up.  It would just not lay properly at all so I need to unpick what I've done and get some more bias tape and hope I can salvage it.

As well as dealing with Jake and the addition to the fabric I had a cat who suddenly thought she was roaming the plains of the savannah.  Please note the blue hand print on the chair!

As a result I have no concluded I am NEVER sewing while the children are around again.  I thought it would be fine but clearly as soon as I do something slightly different to our day time routine it results in small fingers becoming very interested. It's sweet that Jake wants to join in and help Mummy but it's such a hindrance.

Just to show you the dress so far. 

An example of how the bias tape will look (but better)

It's just been one of 'those' weekends.  Here's hoping for a better week and fingers crossed a move date!  I have lots of plans for our new house which includes a nice sewing cubby which will keep little fingers out!  I may well manage to make the sewing cubby while we're still here as I definitely need it sooner than later!

Friday, 4 May 2012

Today is #Blogitforbabies

After a pretty rough week I managed to get the dress finished and sent last minute yesterday.  Unfortunately the ruffled nappy cover didn't make it purely because I ran out of time.

Tuesday night Mr D. was poorly.  He had a raging temperature and we were unable to cool him down.  This resulted in me over reacting (of course!) and staying up until 2am when I deemed he was at an acceptable temperature for me to go to bed.  When we awoke the next morning Daniel mostly slept all day which resulted in extreme neurosis and checking him every 5 minutes.  This is in between falling asleep on the sofa, my eldest causing havoc because I had fallen asleep and some pretty horrific stomach cramps.

Thankfully we're all back to normal now, well as normal as we'll ever be!  So pictures of the dress I sent.  I appreciate people have seen it before but the idea was to donate the dress I'd already made and make a lovely ruffle nappy cover for it.  Oh well such is life and I'm just glad I could donate something to such an amazing cause.

I really need to discover a better way of showcasing my dresses.  It's particularly hard to get these wrap around dresses to fall the right way when not on a child.  Notice my stealthy buttons!  I could not find any buttons I liked to go with the dress then I remembered I had some self cover buttons which I think look ace.  The print is quite 'busy' and I'm now thinking that perhaps it was too much with obvious buttons.

I then moved onto the next disaster of the week.  I'd lost the sellotape.  No matter how hard I looked for it (in between comforting a groggy baby, tantrumming toddler and throwing the massive pity party for myself) it was no where to be found.  I was running out of time and had no other option than to improvise a way of wrapping the dress to send.

Yes in my infinite wisdom and creativeness I used stickers and a paper envelope (the dress was wrapped in a plastic bag so not likely to get wet).   I keep flicking between smug for my inventive use of stickers and embarrassed that I've covered a package in whimsical stickers.  At least it's a donation to a charity event raising money for babies and maternity services and not something more serious like leprosy.  Although someone with leprosy might be cheered up by the whimsy.

I'd like to wish A Cupcake Mum the best of luck for this afternoon with her Save the children #blogitforbabies event this afternoon. 

Monday, 30 April 2012

Ruffled nappy cover

So I'm donating an outfit to an event in Lancaster being organised by A Cupcake Mum for Blog it for babies.  After much procrastination and munching of prawn crackers tonight I managed to pick up where I left off last night sewing (I did eventually get off my bum!) and cracked on with the nappy cover, only to discover I forgot to buy thinner elastic for the legs.

Anyway the good part is the pictures, although nappy covers look naff unless actually on a baby!

You'll have to excuse the loose threads I don't trim until I'm finished.  I've made the nappy cover to go with this dress

I think it's ace and hopefully whoever gets the dress in the raffle will think so too!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Today I am mostly feeling rubbish

I am exhausted for no obvious reason today.  Apparently my energy has been stolen and this time it's not by the tiny humans.  It was my turn for a lay in so I slept late, then went back to bed at lunchtime and only got up at about 5pm yet I'm still tired and have that weird shaky feeling where nothing quite feels stable.

So not only have I wasted the day (something I do enjoy doing occasionally) but I have the urgent sense to do 'something' with my day which usually is sewing but I do not have the motivation today.

Now I've had my whinge I might actually crack on with sewing...unless the lure of the TV and chocolate gets too strong.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

'The' Apple dress

About two weeks ago I bought some apple fabric from ebay.  It was amazing and I was so hideously excited about using it that I managed to completely psych myself out of using it.  I've done the same thing with some fabulous Cath Kidston.  It's the fear of royally screwing something up then not being able to put your precious fabric back together.

Well tonight I decided to grab the pull by the horns so to speak and just went for it.  I'm really pleased.  It's not perfect but then nothing ever is.  It's good enough that I'd happily let someone have it though.  It also has no buttons because I have no idea what to do with it.  I was thinking a couple of red apple buttons then thought it might be apple overload so while I'm considering options it remains buttonless.

So onto the pictures!

These are easily my favourite dresses to make at the moment.  They're fairly quick and simple and look really good.  It's quite reassuring to know that you can actually sew and crack something out in an evening especially as I was predominately making quilts for ages.  I'm also going to apologise for my poor cutting mat.  My eldest darling son has drawn on it with crayon and I've failed to get it off, even with baby wipes which we all know are the solvent to 99% of things that children draw with.  It's also periodically attacked by the cat just to make sure it knows it's place in pecking order (below the cat but possibly above me).

Chinese style wrap dress

I'm continuing my journey into making items of clothing predominately dresses for little girls, though they do get a model on my boys when I need to check a similar size.  As an extension of that journey I have decided to start blogging about my sewing (and other unrelated) escapades.

This is my latest attempt at a dress.  You will have to excuse the Thomas the Tank engine stickers on the door.  Unfortunately our very small flat has limited places to hang items to photograph (particularly at midnight which is when I was taking them).

I wasn't overly impressed with the fabric I have to say, but I did get it in a sale for something ridiculous like £2 a metre so I should probably be grateful it didn't decide to fray instantly.  As this is my first attempt I have just used whatever print came to hand as soon as I put my hand in the fabric box.  I also tend to be quite lax when it comes to matching threads when I'm doing a rough first attempt hence the reason there's a monochromatic thing going on with the bias binding.  Also please ignore the random piece of bias tape hanging off the bottom it needs tacking up but I really couldn't be bothered last night and as it's a first attempt dress I'm not too fussed as no one will be wearing it.

I'm quite chuffed with how it has turned out.  I almost always seem to be surprisingly pleased with myself after I've successfully made a piece.

Just to recap on the dresses I've made before (and shameless post pictures).

This is my first ever dress.  It's a wrap around pinafore which is apparently fantastic for showing off cloth bums.  I made it out of a remnant of ikea fabric (Susannah) and some plain red cotton.  I love ikea fabrics for sewing with as they are generally quite a heavy weight cotton and I find them very easy to manipulate.

This is the second dress, also an ikea fabric which I believe has been discontinued now (boo as it's gorgeous!).  I made this specifically for a rather fabulous little girl called Sophie.

My third dress was made from bits a remnant of material.  It was bought from hobby craft nearly 4 years ago now but I'm sure there are very similar prints (if not the same) still floating around.

I then decided to move on and try marking a party dress but being a spur of the moment decision I used a heavy furnishing fabic I'd bought to make cushions and some spare hot pink cotton drill.  I was so impressed with myself when I finished this as I'd had some real difficultly understanding how it was supposed to go together I woke my husband up in the early hours to show him.  Quite understandably he didn't really care for being woken up over a dress.

We then had the slightly over confident satin 'dress'.  I've decided I don't like working with satin and that it is the devil's fabric.  After finishing I was desperately disappointed with it more so because I'd just put hours of care and effort into making a dress that at best only mildly offended my eyes.

So I thought that Making the band thinner would save this abomination.  It didn't.

Then we come to the car dress which I adore.  It's made for a friend who's daughter loves cars but they are unable to find any kind of clothing with cars on or a girl.  Now this I find totally unfair so I offered to make her a dress to fill this need.  I used an ikea fabric.  It's available as yardage fabric or you can buy it made into bed linen.  I assure you I used the yardage not the bed linen.

I'm not 100% happy with it at the minute as I think it needs a waist band.  I've discussed this with my friend and I think we've agreed it would look better with a waist band so I'm going to make one in the style of a road.  It's going to be black cotton with white lines embroidered on.  I for one am stupidly excited about it!

If you made it to the bottom of my rather mammoth blog post you probably deserve a medal!