I’ve made another kanzashi flower hairband. This time, using these nifty hairbands from Wilkos, it’s a birthday present for someone. Idea is it goes over the whole head, rather than a ponytail. I used the same tutorial as before. Using smaller squares, 2 and a half inch square to be exact, I added the centre from a self-cover button with contrasting fabric. You may recognise the fabric from previous projects I’ve written about. I’ll likely have to adjust the length of the band (by measuring and sewing a new ‘join’) so it will fit the head of its recipient. It’s a birthday present for the same little girl who I made this for previously. I quite like using matching fabric for gifts when I can. It gives some continuity. Next time, I think I’d a) sew 8 petals rather than 6, so there is more even coverage of the flower; b) if I use the same sized button, I’d try using slightly bigger squares (maybe 3 inch) for better proportions. I got these self-cover buttons from Dunelm (22mm, sold in a pack of 5).
Another Friday evening sewing. Tonight’s project was much quicker than making a handmade flower out of fabric. But using the same fabric as last week, I made this 80s* throwback:
I used to love these as a kid. I remember my Mum used to make them quite frequently and I’d sometimes help her. I can still remember some of the scrunchies I enjoyed wearing as a little girl. My favourite was a slim one made out of purple silk which we picked up in some kind of industrial fabric shop in London. It was very soft! I also had one (that Mum) made out of some rather scratchy material which looked great due to its wacky and unusual colours and sparkle, but wasn’t the most comfortable to wear, which my Mum picked up in Hong Kong after a sad family funeral she went out there for. These scrunchies bring back memories!
I’m not sure how often I’ll wear this one, but I was inspired after reading this article on the Guardian online. All linked to a new film out- I Tonya. Well, if scrunchies do defy the odds and make a big comeback, I know where to turn for mine. Or how to make some more. You can too, I followed these easy to follow tutorials: here and here. The first one is quite simple. At first I liked the little videos that play automatically in the second, but then I must admit they made me feel a bit seasick. More likely that I’m still recovering from a virus that has wiped me out all week. Bye for now!
* Late 80s, early 90s
PS Next time, I’m going to have to do a better job of learning how to ladder stitch/ do an invisible stitch to sew up the opening. I’ve never quite got the hang of it!
I ended up making a cushion cover tonight. An impromptu act, but something I’d been hoping to learn to make for some time.
It was approaching 7:30pm and, being the first day of British Summer Time this year, was still light outside. So I felt more awake than I would usually at this time on a Sunday evening, and got out my latest crafty project. Whilst I was cutting out some material, I realised the amount I had left over could be perfect for a cushion cover. & That it would go well with the other item I was making (more on that later, I’m sure).
Armed with the knowledge from friends that, ‘it’s easy’. & ‘Just fold it over’, I embarked on making my cushion cover. I consulted some online tutorials, as per usual. But rather than cut out various pieces of fabric, as suggested here, I did it all in one piece, referring to this one (envelope pillow cover is another name for it apparently), but making it up as I went along mostly.
It could be even quicker next time, but we’ll see. Without further ado, here’s what my latest creation looks like:
I have been doing some knitting recently, but not much sewing. I have made some ‘first anniversary’ presents for colleagues who joined the team at work last year. This included a scarf and hat for one person’s children, and a personalised zip case for another. Using the scraps of the latter, for some reason, I had in mind to make it into a bookmark for my Dad’s Christmas present. & On Christmas Eve, after a day with family and catching up on some odd jobs, I have managed to make and finish it. Here’s a sneak preview of what Dad will be opening tomorrow…
With wool used from an old sewing project to make a tassel & using fabric used on last year’s Christmas present to Dad, I’m pleased with the reversible bookmark. Were I to do it again, I wouldn’t start sewing the top stitch in a random place down the (right hand) side, but would start off in a corner, to make it a bit more inconspicuous. & If I had some thinner cord or thick embroidery style thread to hand, I would use that instead to make the tassel.
Merry Christmas! Have a restful and joyful time.
Here’s the other item I made for my housemate.
Having noticed her bringing her laundry down to the washing machine either immaculately folded or in a carrier bag, I thought she could do with a laundry bag. Last year the present idea I made seemed well intentioned in my mind, but not sure she ever used it. So that might happen this time too. But well, in case, I made the simplest laundry bag ever. Using an old pillow case, I transformed it so simply yet effectively following this marvellous method.
Tonight I whipped up a couple of baby dribble bandanas – as upcoming presents for friends and relatives. With a growing number of friends with little kiddlies, I can imagine making a few more of these if they are deemed a success. Quick and easy, I followed this tutorial. I first got the idea from one of my lovely friends who made some for her son and extras as presents. Whilst she used poppers, I sewed on a bit of velcro – which is what the tutorial I used called for anyway.
I wish all my sewing projects were conjured up, done and dusted in a couple of hours. Still, I have plenty more little children I can think of that I can make some more for too. But I’d better not try and do any more tonight. A good way to use up fabric from old clothing (the reverse was from an old T shirt – which actually I was given in Ichikawa all those years ago, Georgia!). So the reverse piece is from an item from 16 years ago, and the front of the darker one is from a T shirt I loved and was given as a child. You can tell I’m a bit of a natural hoarder – but this is a nice way to use up some special pieces, and hopefully give them a new lease of life and create something memorable!
I was thinking the other day… There’s something about taking control. Even when life is busy or stressful or there is a lot going on, it is important to be able to have some sense of control. Maybe that’s why I enjoy sewing? You can make something and complete a project. Or running- I end up training for races and I can choose to train and dedicate myself to what is needed to get through the race and work towards the goal.
It can be harder when you feel not to be in control of a situation or/ as you cannot control other people and they do not act as you would like them to in an ideal world! I guess this is when empowerment comes in. Over the past few years I’ve been looking at boundaries and trying to improve boundary marking in my life.
But this is all preamble to say, what was on my mind was something I must have picked up from a Theology book I read years ago. Can’t remember who first said it. Probably Stanley Hauerwas quoted the person who wrote that when Jesus told people to, “Turn the other cheek” or, “go the extra mile” it is an empowering position. When someone is under Roman rule and told, forced or made to do something, they are under that person’s control. Yet when they choose to turn the other cheek or walk a mile extra, they are in control and choosing to do that.
So, if you feel a bit unstuck or not in control of a situation, don’t think about what’s holding you back. Rather, think, what can I do here? For me, when work gets crazy busy and stressful, I choose to take my lunch break and tell people where I’m going and when I’ll be back and sticking to my time frames; it means working flexi time and carving out time to go for a run or see friends for a coffee catch up/ sort me out chat before I head to the office; or simply getting to work on time so I don’t get overwhelmed with emails in the inbox and people coming in through the door. It can also mean choosing to do that sewing project, to stick to that decision I’ve said yes to or no to, to keep up my fitness training plan. Being confident in what you say and unwavering in what you do. Can be easier said than done, but worth it.
A friend commented to me recently that someone had said I always remain calm at work, even when everything around is all chaotic. Certainly what I aspire to, but sadly doesn’t happen all the time in practice. But choosing to take control can lead to more peace and calm – good for me and those around!
& With that I bid you adieu for now.
I’ve made an eye mask to give to a friend who’s currently without curtains and in need of some more shut eye. I found this little tutorial which is so simple to follow. With the half inch seam allowance, despite the pattern looking big enough, did come out a little small for my liking.
I’m planning to make another one for myself. I tend to sleep with one of these each night & my freebie airline ones are wearing thin. I might try and make my next one a little bigger, and whilst I used a felt lining inside, will try and use a thicker outer fabric to maximise the black eye effect.
Here’s mid point:
& The finished Christmas present:
Last year, I wasn’t really with it. I saw the lavender bush in my garden grow, flower and wither somewhat. Only then did I decide to ‘harvest’ the lavender, but it was certainly past its best for turning into lavender bags. I chucked the dried, unused, unfragrant stems away a few days ago… As I hung my fresh crop to dry.
I love the beauty of the colours and look forward to turning it into something special. Meantime there’s still more on the bush. Maybe I’ll harvest that later, unless I’m already leaving it too late. But still, there’s only a certain number of lavender bags you can make, right?
As you can see, it’s not the most arty of photos- drying in the same place as my clothes go when it’s too cold or rainy to put them outside!
It’s so good to be able to rest and be creative.
Over the Christmas and New Year period, I made some cards. One birthday card led to another, and I created a selection of cards with scrap fabric made to look like bunting. I’ve already sent a few out. To make some more, I’d need to restock my supplies of plain card.
Here are few of the ones I have left: