Baby bandanas

Tags

, ,

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!

 

Whoop!

Tags

, , , , ,

I’ve just finished making this money purse/ belt for a friend’s upcoming birthday. It’s a bit slopshod in the final touches and details but I hope she won’t mind. A customised appliqué/ quilted (if you use the terms loosely!) design on a humble twist on the zipped purse design. Simple yet effective I hope. With some little pockets inside for bills/ coins. Ta daah! 

   

Avocado ice cream

Tags

, ,

The weather has been milder this week in the UK – feels like summer is coming- temperatures are around 18 degrees C, so by no means hot.   But it means I’ve been able to eat some meals out in my garden and in fact I’m typing this sitting on my patio!  Lovely to enjoy the fresh air and see the greenery coming into new growth and blossom in the garden.

Unfortunately, despite the warmer weather, I managed to catch a cold and feel rather rotten earlier in the week.  With a sore throat and seeking soothing food, I fancied having some ice cream.  I’ve been getting into reading ‘raw’ or healthy food blogs lately – the likes of Deliciously Ella and Livia’s Kitchen to name a few.  They focus on cutting out refined sugar and eating whole, natural products.  So, rather than reaching for the tub of usual ice cream, and aware I had half an avocado in my fruit bowl, I had a search and stumbled upon this recipe.  Remarkably, I had all the ingredients (including a sliced frozen banana) and quickly blended up this ice cream- come -smoothie in minutes.

If I had more avocados, and time, I would have plumped for a recipe that requires you to put the mixture in the freezer which – with various extra ingredients, would result in a much thicker / creamier ice cream as opposed to the consistency created in this quick creation.  But it was good and felt wholesome and healthy to eat.  & As with all these healthy/ raw/ natural recipes, didn’t give any sluggishness or sugar high or slump afterwards.  – What more could you ask for?!

 

 

Baby bunting

Tags

, ,

One of my best friends has recently given birth to a little girl. I can’t wait to meet her this weekend. As well as looking forward to hanging out, I’m excited to see what she looks like! I haven’t really been using Facebook since the end of last year and haven’t seen any photos of her. I imagine there are some uploaded there but, despite a couple of requests to have snaps emailed to me, I understand new mummy and daddy have other things to be getting on with, as none have transpired yet. So, I’ll have to wait. And in the meantime, I’ve made this bunting as a little present.

I’m pleased with it. I made some bias binding in contrasting fabric (the other side of the duvet cover). I’ve used this linen for a few projects over the years and this one must be one of my favourites. 

  

Pleased, but a little bit more work to do

Tags

, , , , ,

I had been planning my latest project for a while. Initially thinking this would do for a friend’s birthday in the summer, I recently decided I’d make it sooner, in time for Mothering Sunday. In Britain, that’s 6th March this year. It will be my friend’s first year celebrating it as a mother.

I made her this bag last year and wanted to make something to match. I plumped on another zip purse. Inspired by this product from a company I really like, I decided I could add a simple clutch handle! (& Looked up this similar product as I created it, with the strap on the opposite edge to the closed zip.)

The little bit of work I need to do is to strengthen the raw edges of the strap. I simply cut off the extra edging from the leftover piece of zip. But didn’t take my time over it. As is often the case, if you do things in a hurry, the slapdash approach catches you out later. I hope a small zigzag along the edges will neaten it out. I had tried tying on various ribbons instead but like the simplicity of the matching/ contrasting green. & I think it ties in well with the original bag’s handles. If my friend doesn’t like the strap it is easily removable.

Anyway, without further ado, here it is! :

  
I’m pleased with it. Night night. 

At last

Tags

, ,

I’ve been slogging away at a project all weekend. So pleased to have finally finished. A kindle holder for a friend. I hope it fits (I googled dimensions before hand but allowed a little extra in case I had a repeat of my Dad’s Christmas present scenario- it being a bit small and having to start all over again.  Can be adjusted for i pads or what not too.)

So without further ado, ta-dah!

 

 
I found the tutorial I used for this on the Liberty blog.  However, it does not come recommended.  There appear to be some instructions missing between Steps 5 and 6.  So I added in zigzagging all the raw edges and eventually sewed the zip flush with the top edge of the fabric. (With thanks to this tutorial that I ended up cross referencing.)   But mine doesn’t look like the end result on the Liberty blog. So I’m not sure what they did that they didn’t mention! 

& Oh one other blog I cross referenced what this one my friend directed me to… This is the tutorial I don’t need to write for the zip cases I’ve been making over the past few weeks.  My friend got the instructions from here.  Recommended.  (If only they included pretty quilted wadding in their steps I would not have ventured further afield!)

However for future I think the quilted effect could work well for a wine bottle cooler perhaps – ideally with a drawstring closure.  I might see if I could get one of those space blankets made out of foil-like material that runners are sometimes given at the end of a marathon, and sew that into something like that or a lunch box.  So watch this space for developments.  The wine bottle cooler could work well as a present for friends who enjoy a bottle of wine on a picnic!  (I did quite enjoy my quilting debut, but I have much skill to master!!)

Adios for now. & Thanks for your help and reading!

Pleased with that

Tags

, ,

Tonight I fancied doing a bit of sewing. I had thought to make a present in advance for a friend’s birthday, but as I got put my fabric and thought of various other ideas, I decided to make a gift for work.   Here it is. To store those pesky carrier bags in the work kitchen, so vulnerable people who take away free food have something to put it in. – Or more to the point, the bags will be easier to store and locate.

I’d used this tutorial before. I realised the length of elastic is a tad generous- I ended up snipping off at least half an inch. & I folded over the strap so it makes for a more comfortable fit… I basically folded it under the fabric, so there was more material (another layer) to sew through, but it hangs more easily.

Pleased with that and had better make a move for an early night before work tomorrow.

Headbands

Tags

Today I have refashioned and made some headbands. Unfashionable and reminiscent of a small child, I end up wearing headbands a fair bit. Either under my cycle helmet or to cover my ears when running, to get my hair out of my face when sewing, washing my face and occasionally walking, I quite like them!

When on a run yesterday, I realised I could bring my old black band into use if I sewed it together rather than getting annoyed with the broken velcro fastening. So sewing that was my first port of call.

Then I sewed up an old belt (bias binding) – the brown one to fit round my head.

Thirdly was a bit of left over scrap from making the bag for Mum last week (I’d made double the length for handles by mistake).  To that I snipped and stitched a small piece of elastic.

Then my final piece de resistance (albeit a bit scruffy in the final sewing bit) was the fabric I tend to tie round my hair when sewing. Another piece of scrap from this sewing project a while back. For this I used tips from this tutorial and covered the elastic band. It looks cool on (perhaps not reflected in picture below!).

If I were to do another, I’d use/ cut a wider piece of fabric. But for now, voila a successful afternoon and evening’s thrifty work.

Control/ Empowerment

Tags

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.

Birthday Kangaroo Bag

Tags

,

I’ve made a few zip cases in recent weeks.  I hope to post some pictures and perhaps instructions for a tutorial on here some point.  But meantime, here is my latest creation:

  
My Mum had asked if I could make her a smaller bag for her knitting, pointing out my Muji tote bag I’ve had for years.  So I used that as a rough guide.  But pulled out all the stops.  This one has it all-

Lovely Japanese fabric (from your stash you sent me, thanks Georgia) – the colour is more like the second picture than the first – a nice green; a lining (lining fabric given from a friend), with a pocket sewn in.  Plus a little loop and D hook onto which a zip case hooks on to.  I got the idea for this from a summery handbag I bought in Toulouse Airport in the summer.  Mum had also asked for a zip case to store her crochet hooks in, so I made one of those.  & Then combined both requests into a 2 in 1, by fixing the zip case inside the bag.  

I also tried adding in some magnets as fasteners at the top.  After looking in several shops and market stalls, the only ones I could get my hands on in time weren’t very strong and made for fiddly sewing, but the thought is there.  I also strengthened the outer fabric with some iron on stuff from a fabric shop that was having a closing down sale, on the street where I work. I got it at a bargain price, but as always, haven’t quite mastered the art of it.  Some of it didn’t seem to fix when I ironed it, and on other parts the fabric went a bit bumpy.  Next time I might try ironing over a damp tea towel (I tried a dry tea towel but that seemed ineffective).

I gave the bag to its new owner today, as a birthday present and she was pleased with it.  It now holds some knitting wool that my brother gave her for her birthday, so it’s already serving its purpose!