Friday, 29 March 2013

Red skirt

This is another project from Stitch Savvy. I had hoped to be doing lots of sewing at the moment, as I feel very enthused by it, but curiously I don't seem to have a lot of time with 4 boys at home.
I liked the construction of this project, but managed to get a couple of the pieces back to front which then made things rather complicated. One of the pocket pieces also seemed to have been printed back to front, which didn't help, and there was no sizing guide in the book, so I just kind of winged it. Now the weather just needs to perk up so I can wear it.
The main fabric is a heavy cotton which I think was trimmed from the bottom of a friend's curtains. There's just about enough left to make some little boy trousers from too. The floral fabric inside the pleat was a gift from a friend. I feel like I ought to make something lovely and special from it, so inevitably it's just languishing in a cupboard. Once I'm back to a less extravagant size, I have notions of turning it into a shift dress.
One of the things I really like about recycling fabrics is the way in which your clothes are imbued with meaning even before you wear them, so that when I eventually come to wear this skirt, I'll remember the clothes swap I got the fabric from, and going out for lunch on my birthday 3 years ago and being given a lovely gift of flowery material and carrot juice.
Peek a boo pleat skirt

Peek a boo pleat skirt peeking

Sunday, 17 March 2013

What to do with the legs

So you've made a nice skirt. You still have 2 legs left. What to do with them? There's only so many patches you can make for your kids' trousers, and sewing new trousers out of old denim is just too tricky.

There's a very nice bean bag / foot rest type thing on the Guardian that you could make out of them, if you were so inclined. I think it would look good in a kids' bedroom. However, my boys sit on the floor. Or, more likely, run around.

However, what I made was a little clutch bag, from the lovely Clever Girl. Perhaps it was her that inspired me to blog more: it's her new year's resolution too. I see she's just made a travel tote bag too . I need one of those!

My clutch bag is made of legs (obviously) and some lovely silk, origin unremembered, that's been sitting around for years. I'm trying, for various reasons (related to the need for a travel tote) to use things up. Legs and 2 square foot of silk is a great start.

For my next trick, I'm going to work out straps and internal pockets. But for now, I have a pretty pouch, too small for an ipad (not that I own one) and too big for anything else.

*edited to add that I now use this to store our passports...

Nook covers

So, Celebrate the Boy came and went and I didn't do a whole lot of celebrating, other than, you know, keeping mine fed and clothed. I did, however, have a craft inspiration for a friend's boys' birthdays.

They are about to turn 9 and 7, are mad keen readers and both have nooks (like kindles I believe). Plus, their mum is a chemistry teacher.

In an idle moment, my older boys were squabbling over our periodic table mug, as you do. Seeing He (Helium) at the top made me think of one of their sons - Henry - and I wondered if there was an appropriate element for their other son, Howard. Turns out there is: Ho (Holmium). Atomic number 67.

The other source of inspiration came from a load of spare legs: having turned all the boys school trousers and jeans with worn knees into shorts for the summer, I had a lot left over. Some I saved for patches, but really, there's only so much patching to do...

So, denim, periodic table nook covers. I must say, I'm pretty pleased with the result.

I used the tutorial at Little Birdie Secrets and copied her lining, exchanging sophisticated black for more kid friendly green and blue. I deliberately kept the jeans stitching on the pieces I used for the back covers because I think it's a nice detail, and used printer transfer paper to print onto white cotton, which I sewed onto the fronts. The details of the elements are just done in Word (remembering to reverse the image to print out).

I really like the idea of using periodic table initials for personalising gifts, and imagine I'll be doing it again. I also just noticed that I can use US state abbreviations for all my family, so might move onto that next.

Something I really like about crafting is learning a new skill. So in this case, I put in zips in a different way to how I'd done them before, and learned how to line a pouch - hopefully both things I can use again.