Welcome back

It’s been a while, I know, and in fact, two of my readers have been complaining about my recent silence. Ok, they have mentioned that they haven’t received any new posts from me and I like to think that this was actually a complaint.

So, why have I been so quiet? Because I was really busy campaigning. My children were lucky enough to enjoy two respectively one year in the best nursery in the world (after having enjoyed good times at the connected children centre) and unfortunately it has been decided to basically destroy this amazing setting. Before I go on, you can have a look on my other blog which is badly looked after but at least it gives you some starting information, if you really want to know about it. Have I been able to change anything? Well, there was no chance to turn things completely around  but hopefully we will be able to keep the memory up to bring it back when the wind has changed (and there are nationwide promises to increase the budget for early years).

At least, I have been able to annoy a few “decision makers” and make them work a bit to answer 6 pages of questions,  I have now a facebook account (threw overboard all my concerns, did it without reading the T&Cs, might have sold my children, who knows, got a lettre from 10 Downing Street (sounds exciting, content is really not worth mentioning), managed to have my picture at the same page as the queen in a local newspaper (cases not related obviously, but the article was so badly done that I have to look for something positive about it :) ) and my children are now proud owners of clip boards with important lists in it.

But back to the purpose of this blog: knitting and sewing. I have actually been busy as well, finished my Fashion course – I really only work under pressure, believe me the Easter holidays were all about getting that folder done – again, the children were impressed and have now folders too.

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I made a baby blanket which got lost (or stolen) on its way to my new niece. I have finally accepted the loss and moved on, started my first square on baby blanket Nr2 yesterday.

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I have been working on a few smaller projects, birthday presents from scrap yarn and fabric.

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As all these things deserve their moment in the spot light I will be a good girl and write lots and lots of posts in the next few days. Or weeks. So watch this space :)

Scrap Sunday – World Costume Day

I know, I know, a little later than usual, but it is still Sunday.

It was World Books Day this week, so time to get dressed up as favourite book character. Which is quite clearly mistaken by some as favourite TV character. I saw a lot of Disney princesses and Superheros plus one Yoda.

But I was lucky.  I asked them: What’s your favourite book?

Child No 1: Room on the broom (We haven’t read it in ages but ok.  It is a good book, also costumewise)

Child No 2: Blue.

We did a couple of times: -No your favourite BOOK. -Blue. (or “green” as clearly mum did not seem to be satisfied by blue)

I explained: – Look, for example P wants to be the witch from Room on the broom….

– I want to be the dragon, I want to be the dragon.

Great. Matching outfits. In different schools though :)

Technically, the witch costume is not exactly a scrap project. I had to buy just about everything. Well, the yellow bow (hiding behind the hair) and the ginger plait are made of scrap wool (see, I am still knitting). And we had the hat since ages.

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Obviously I could have made a simple purple skirt but I wanted to use the opportunity to practice piping as I will need it for the final garment in my Fashion Course.

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The dragon however is entirely made of scrap.

IMG_3297I have used the left over from the carrot costume  and some other red and orange fabric scraps.

First of all I cut out some sets of red triangles plus some strong interfacing. I sewed them together and turned them inside out. I also made a stuffed grey horn similar to the one the dragon in the book has on his head.

For the main “body” I used a hood pattern and just elongated it at the back into a long tail. I pinned all the spikes and the horn on one side and stitched the two body parts together. I decided to line it with some dark red left over lining as it makes the whole costume just so much more sustainable.

IMG_3295As you can see, the horn does not quite stand up but the dragon was happy and so was I.

I did not want to make a full costume because… well it would have been far too much work really but also we needed something practical to be able to play in the nursery and its garden.

And in case if you were wondering why he carries a flag, obviously this is not a flag but a portable fire to breath out fire. Because this is what dragons do.

I am extremely pleased with the result of the whole costume making. The child inside misses the carnivals of my childhood I guess.

It has been very little work (apart from the skirt) with maximum outcome plus the children could help with some of  it. Obviously the skirt is too elaborate for a costume only but it was a good opportunity and I made it to be worn on many occasions.

 

 

Last but not least, the accidental reversible book bag

I have been asked to make a simple cotton bag that a secondary school girl can use as a book bag in school without being told off for standing out from the crowd. So basically nothing that is not dark blue or black :)

IMG_3278As you know, that is slightly too depressing for me. I just can’t do it. So I thought I will put a very nice lining inside to make up for the boring outside.IMG_3279Pretty, isn’t it.

I also made a zip pocket large enough for phone, oyster card and whatever else you need in school. And guess what? Obviously the inside of the pocket needs to be different again.

IMG_3281I know, that is actually getting quite boring for you now.

Anyway, I was very pleased with the result but I was even happier when I finally realised that I had just produced a perfectly reversible bag. Which you know already because you have seen it in the picture. But I only realised it once it was finished. So it can be used with the dark blue outside during the schoolday but with the fancy fabric on the outside for the rest of the day.

It is actually a very spacious bag as it has a 8cm gusset going all the way around it so there is enough room for large folders and I am sure I will make a few more of them and put them in the shop. I will let you know.

 

Scrap Sunday: The left over crafts bag

Just one thing before we talk about the latest bag – for all those who have sleepless nights because they are wondering about the progress of the knitting in this knitting blog: Don’t worry I am still knitting, really. I will soon show you something knitted. Promised.

But now back to bag: This one here is made of lots of scraps, I even had the zip at home, so no shopping of new shiny things had to be done.

I wanted to make a little crafts bag for a birthday girl who seems to be into making things (cutting and sticking things on other things).

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I took a rectangular scrap piece of the outer fabric and cut it in half and started all the other measurements from there. Stupidly I didn’t write anything down as it turned out to be a rather perfect size.

Anyway, to give it more volume, I just put two seams in an right angle across the side seams (about 4cm from bottom edge, next time I would do rather 3) and cut off the excess fabric.

IMG_3274Inside, I lined it and added a few simple slip pockets: one big enough to hold some coloured cards. On the other side, one rather deep one (did not quite work out as un planned) for the glue stick, one for some pencils and one for a pair of scissors. Which I did not provide as I am completely paranoid by Health and Safety rules here and I don’t actually know the little girl or her family very well at all. So who knows if they have rules about scissors.

And then I just added a few craft things like tiny sparkly flowers, feathers, … just things you can glue onto other things.

I am extremely pleased with the result, quick, very pretty, a good use for scrap fabrics, personal present, so a total success (did not yet ask the little girl if she agrees on that :) )

I hope you are not yet getting bored by bag posts, we are not quite done yet. But at least the next one will be a bit different, at least in a different fabric :)