Saturday, 21 April 2012

Liverpool Giants

D2 has been working as a volunteer costume technician with the French creators of the 3 day        Sea Odyssey parade in Liverpool. She had to re-stitch part of the Girl's dress on the first day and this morning was busy re-sewing on buttons and repairing zips of the Lilliputian pupeteer costumes before the show began. What a great experience for her to be involved with and good use of GCSE/AS French. She has an early start for repairs and the big finale tomorrow. Good luck D2

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The Hope 4 Kids Workshop

The primary school held it's Hope 4 Kids workshop as part of DT last Monday (2nd). Two other volunteer mums came to help, Mrs M who had made one of the kits up for me already, and Mrs O who was willing to learn quickly. They kindly agreed to man the dresses stations whilst I made shorts. Originally it had been intended as a project for the juniors (yrs 3, 4, 5 +6) but the headteacher felt all the school would benefit from involvement. Everyone assembled in the hall and I was asked to explain a little about the charity and how we could help and where the dresses and shorts may go to. Each class came in turn throughout the day. Reception children got involved cutting out pockets for the shorts and all children had the opportunity to watch the sewing machines being used and most had the chance to press foot pedals or use the trusty workhorse.
D1 and D3 organised groups making woven friendship bracelets and managed 35! All the children made small cards drawing a picture of themselves and a message to go in the pockets of the dresses and shorts.
Everyone worked really hard and I am so gratefull to the other mums who carried on all day.
We made 12 dresses on the day and 7 pairs of shorts. There are still about 10 dresses to come back from outside stitchers.

our dresses and shorts displayed on our tree from all 4 sides

I got very organised with my homemade bias tape too

somebody had donated 2 skirts along with other fabrics for us to use and I thought they were too nice to cut up and use bits of so I made them into complete dresses.

Hopefully we should have about 25 dresses and at least a dozen pairs of shorts to send after the Easter holidays. The best part is how much fun the children had from making something for a good cause and their imagination in embllishing the pockets. The daughter of one of the teaching assistants has also taken a kit and the charity details back to Uni in Edinburgh to get their stitching group involved so maybe som eclectic tartan designs will wing their way to Louise at Sew Scrumptious.


The Trusty Workhorse

The very nice people at Singer got back to me within 2 days regarding Ednas history. She is a model 28K and was made between January and June 1906 in Clydebank. I also found out she can be a treadle machine and would love to find an old table to put her back into.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

April already!

I seem to have had a thousand and one things going on recently and none of them involved a post on here. The Guides finished their pillowcase dresses and tried them on for a photo (not taken by me so I will try and get it e-mailed to me by their leader) and so they all got their 'together we can - volunteer' badge

The Old Workhorse
I dated the workhorse back to 1907 but it has no model number so I am waiting to hear back from Singer as to its model and origin

I wish I had her box lid

Bunnies Galore
D1 bought me a lovely book, The Knitters Year by Debbie Bliss, for mothers day and one of the spring projects was a bunny egg cosy
Bunny egg cosies

I simply had to make one there and then and couldn't believe how quickly they knitted up. I decided to make a batch in lots of bunny-type colours (although I did make a pink and a blue too) to sell for the Good Shepherd Appeal at school. They vanished as soon as I brought them out of my bag last week. D1 and D4 wanted me to make them as a hat. A friend at school asked if I would make one as a baby hat for her friends daughters new baby so here is my finished product, with bunny booties too, to be delivered tomorrow

Dress a Girl Workshop
so tomorrow is our big pillowcase dress/ shorts workshop for yrs 3, 4, 5 + 6 at the primary school. Some mums have already made up the kits I made and their results are displayed in the entrance hall at school. Hopefully we will have some adult volunteer helpers. D1 is home from Uni at the moment  and D3 is on holiday from college so they are coming to help. They are brilliant at making woven patterned friendship bracelets which D1 was taught at camp in America so are going to make them to put in the pockets of the dresses and shorts. Lots of other mums have been interested in the dresses for their own children and I may make some up to sell to cover the cost of postage to Louise at sew scrumptious.

my bags and boxes of all things pillowcasy ready to go for tomorrow. I have 3 sewing machines (including the workhorse) and my sewing box in the car ready. Fingers crossed we do a good job!

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

End of Feb!

I can't beleive it's already the end of February! hats off to all you dedicated bloggers out there - I still haven't got to grips with it yet.

My 'dress a girl' update
Well I guessed wrong about how many dresses my bolt of fabric would make. It totalled 16.  I also managed to commandeer an 'offcut' bolt of fabric that had been donated to school.

 It is lilac with a kind of damaskesque leaf in it. The headteacher wasn't sure what they would use it for so was quite happy for me to take it. It is only 18 inches wide so makes smaller dresses for age 3,4,5yrs. So far I have cut out 12 kits including a pocket and contrasting bias tapes and sent them in to school with instructions for any willing volunteers to sew as part of the schools part in the project. I have another 24 dresses cut out at home and still more fabric left on the roll! It feels like the never ending porridge pot.

they look cute though.
I also found some striped bedding in a sale and made a coulple of dresses to try it out

it has made 14 kits and scrunchies to match.
1st Parbold and Dalton Guides
The Guides started on their pillowcase dresses last night along with some of us mums to help. I took in my sewing machine, D 5's little machine and even my mums old Victorian hand-driven singer workhorse of a machine which is still a delight to use (even in it does sound like the bell on an old trolley bus) The Guides were very enthusiastic. They will continue with them next week and should end up with about 10 dresses as part of their 'Together We Can' badge. Hopefully we will have some pictures of the Guides to post next week.

These Booties Are Made For Walking
I gave baby M's mum the booties and she loved them, then came home and made some knee length ones  for the following week.

They went down such a storm that several others have asked me to make some to buy. So I am  making a block batch of different sorts to take in soon. Also perfected a new two tone 'Mary Jane' shoe pattern which I will make in several combinations.

 Oh to have a little one again - nope that moment of reflection has rapidly evaporated.

Sweethearts for two sweethearts
Saw a pattern for a crocheted heart and just had to make some in different sizes to create a wallhanging for the birthdays of a friends two little girls aged 4 and 2

then their mum asked me to make her an apron to use at the pre school she works at within Our Lady's Primary School - Little saints

I printed  their logo from their website, traced it then hand embroidered it onto the bib front.  I dont think it turned out too bad, do you?

Also a toddler apron and baking bag for a friend of hers

So all in all a busy couple of weeks. D1 came home for a weekend from Uni and D's 3, 4 + 5 had school hols. Happy days.


Thursday, 2 February 2012

D2 finished the crinoline

D2 finally finished her crinoline and corset as part of her Design for Performance degree. Neither of us want to see steel boning again. It breaks drills!!! She only has to design + make 1901 style Polish costumes for 30 cast members of 'The Wedding' by mid March on a very limited budget. First skirt prototype done yesterday. This is going to be a long month of sewing for D2 and assisting pour moi

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

one week older

Oh my goodness how exciting to see comments on my page so soon. Thankyou sooooo much to those lovely ladies although I think Emma was more thrilled about the praise for her throw (which she has almost sewn up now!) As for mine - no more progress. But I have been busy with other things

I Miss Knitting Baby Clothes
I saw some lovely bootees on baby M at toddlers last week and commented on how I missed knitting baby things. Mum of M said she couldn't knit and I could happily do some for her, so I came home and thought hey perhaps I will. I have so much wool in boxes in the loft that it needed a purpose again.
So I made 3 pairs to give to baby M tororrow

tweedy green

denim blue

I adapted a pattern from Knitting Pattern Central to suit my needs and I love the finished product, as do my girls.  More of these may appear in the future for sale, who knows.


Whooh! I made my first pillowcase dresses yesterday, except they weren't from pillowcases. My friend Paula gave me a bolt of Laura Ashley fabric last year which she had bought years previously at a car boot sale and wondered if I could do something creative with it. Although it is really upholstery fabric it was light enough to make into dresses and being the perfectionist I am worked out the measurements to allow the print repeat to match on the front and back of the dress. The remnants had small patterns on to make two types of pocket. I made 2 yesterday and 3 today and have enough fabric to probably make another 5/6 so I am well pleased with my starting contribution to  they also are a nice template for us to work from on the school workshop day.

two dresses with different pockets

with stocking tot and mini ted in pockets
so - 3 more stocking tots, 3 more mini teds, 3 pairs of bootees and 5 dresses - I think I've fullfilled my one a day pledge this week.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

a whole new world!

I am finally starting a new life in blog after much nervy key twiddling on my laptop. I figure if other women can so can I. Who knows where it may lead me. I hope it will connect me to the many like minded craft insomniacs (ie. can't sleep without having done something crafty each day) that I know exist because I've seen their blogs!
I will post a list of my far too many works in progress and it may encourage me to finish them.I am also far too easily distracted by making teeny tiny things from felt or recycled fabrics but am going to remedy this by aiming to make 1 small project each day for as long as i can. some of these may be sold  either from my bake sew and sow website (when I get it up and running) or at other local events or I may decide to hoard the lot!

These are in my current hoard. Most of my other little creatures went to new homes at an Advent Fair. The  wirework butterflies were originally going to be part of a piece of wall art I was making for my dining room but people seem to like them as brooches so I keep having to start again. The cupcake appliques are ongoing as they get sewn onto Aprons and bags but I love making them and keep finding new fabrics to try out. I was really pleased with the Christmas pud which I made for a couple of 'merry christmas' aprons friends had asked me to make so I will give those a go again
Lucy's Jumper
Ahh, well! Lucy wants an aran jumper. No problem, made one for Emma last winter. Oh but Lucy wants it soft so my chunky aran is out. This one is in Baby aran so unless serious neglect of other projects occurs she may just get it in time for next winter.
Crochet Bed Throw
Great idea to make out of granny squares to co-ordinate with my  bedroom wallpaper. Thing is we have a super kingsize bed which means I will need approx. 800 squares!! ( that looks even worse in print)

work to date - not enought to write home about. Even worse I taught Emma to crochet in November as she wanted to make a multicoloured one for her bed at Uni, SHE FINISHED HER LAST SQUARE THIS WEEK and only has to sew them all together. Yes I know she only needed 260 but good going.
Emma's nearly sewn throw

I found these gorgeous Tea Towels at Paperchase and am hand embroidering around the colours of the print with the intention of turning it into an apron (eventually). This one ventures out of my craft bag every now and then

Dress a girl around the world
I saw this charity project appearing in articles in Craftseller and Simply Homemade magazines and checked out the website. I took the idea in to the Head teacher at my daughters' past primary school where I am still involved in various She thought it would be a fun idea as a day workshop in school to involve yrs 3,4,5+6 as part of design technology, and a chance to involve parents/ grandparents,etc in a worthy project. Also to use the shorts for boys idea so our boys dont feel left out. We are going to be doing this in April so I will be busy gathering ideas, advice, volunteers and donations of fabric/pillowcases, trimmings and elastic. Mrs Griffin (head teacher) also liked the idea of adding a pocket so the children can write a message to accompany their finished item. I am also making some small dolls (stocking tots) in their own papoose and teddies made from recycled fleece and knitted scarves saved when I cleared out the coat cupboard last week ( I knew I'd find a use for them). Here is a picture of the ones I made yesterday and if I organise myself properly may post a tutorial for the dolls as they are an original creation. The teddy pattern I found online and here is the I reduced the pattern size on our home copier to 30% (I think) and they are soooooo cute.

stocking tots in and out of papoose

mini teddies, still need eyes+nose
The school is hopefully going to show their dresses and shorts in a fashion show. I got in touch with the UK reprasentative for the charity, the very nice Louise Horler aka Sew Scrumptious  whose blog I also used for a lot of help and she is more than willing to accept the shorts as well as the dresses for Hope 4 Kids. I cant admire her enough for the work she is doing. I took details in to the toddler group (even though I dont have one) I help at and a few other mums took details  for other schools so hopefully the charity will get some more publicity.

so watch this spot and see if there are enough hours in the day.