Monthly Archives: April 2017

Me Made May challenge

The lovely Zoe of So, Zo… What do you know? is once again hosting the Me Made May challenge and I am happy to say that I just about managed to sign up on time.

I was really looking forward to this as I have made quite a few clothes for myself over the last year. So I was ready for this. However, now that the day has finally come, I wasn’t sure what to pledge. The basic pledge would be to wear one me made item each day. That is not challenging as currently I do that anyway. Mainly because the only T-shirts without holes are the ones that I have made a couple of weeks ago here and here. And there is of course my hoodie. So, I do wear at least one me made item every day anyway.

Another pledge often used in this challenge, is to wear each garment only once or to wear each garment at least once. For the first, I would not have enough yet, for the latter, well, I do not have appropriate occasions to wear all of them. Unfortunately I have a tendency to make lovely dresses although I do not actually wear dresses in my everyday life.

So, I feel that this year, I can not actually do the challenge properly. Being at home without any likelihood to dress up nicely limits the choice in my wardrobe. On the other hand, it is also unlikely to get many new items done in the next couple of weeks.

I have therefore decided to take the challenge as a step forward towards a bigger goal of becoming self-sustaining wardrobe-wise. I am not sure if this will ever be possible or if this is what I really want. What about underwear and things like tights and leggings. Or more functional outdoor wear? I am not sure about that.

So for Me Made May 17 it will be one me made piece of clothing everyday as a base plus I will actually declutter my wardrobe in order to identify my needs and following this, I would like to start eventually adding more useful pieces (rather than just “colourful and fun but unfortunately not matching  with anything else I already own” kind of items). I will also try to finish two projects.  One would be a Zsa Zsa coat as I kind of started this project already. Unfortunately it will fall in the “colourful and fun but unfortunately not matching with anything else I already own” category. The second project will be a pair of trousers. Probably using a pattern by Tilly and the Buttons. I really feel that this will be an important step forward. I have been sewing simple tops and dresses for children for far too long. Time to get out of the comfort zone again and learn something new.

 

Modern urbanisation: turning parking space into living space

Don’t worry this has not suddenly turned into a blog about architecture and area planning. Although this might be interesting, too. As long as it is an expert talking about it, not me. This one is still about knitting and sewing. Not that I would be an expert in these fields either. But aaanyway.

It is probably not wise to start with the highlight of today’s topic rather than building up tension but I do know for a fact that some of my readers get quickly bored and never make it to the end of my in-depth analysis of things. So let’s jump right in.

This parking site has recently been transformed:IMG_5744

into this beautiful home  (still without a roof in this picture) surrounded by a moat:

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to be completed with either a golden roof for a beautiful castle…

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or a dark roof full of spider webs, cracks and bats (yes, these are bats, no weird letter “M”s) for a witch house, dangerous castle or whatever you want to imagine.

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The attentive readers amongst you (for all the others: no need to look away in embarrassment, I am ignoring you anyway), this is not really a transformation as clearly it is a totally brand new development which happens to have the same shape as the afore-mentioned parking space.

It is finally time to reveal the long-awaited portable magic play mat:

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Rather by accident, I must admit, the pocket looks very castle-y but unfortunately it is not as deep as the pocket of the original car play carpet.

But lets unfold the secret inner life of boring spotty bag (trying to rebuilt tension here):

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So there is a deep looking cercle in the centre, made of bricks, could be a tower or a well in the middle of the wood, depending on the story you are developing.

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and a deep dark cave, possibly home of a dragon, a gnome or a captured prince (trying to break up stereotypes)

But enough teasing. Lets have a look at the carpet in its full glory:

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So, we have different areas, a dark wood at the top, a dragon forest in the right top corner (I know, they are dinosaurs! Could you please make a little effort and switch on your imagination?!), a wolf wood, a park with magical looking birds in cages, a pink unicorn forest (I know, they are not unicorns. You are starting to bore me with your negativity), a pond (the BLUE bit of course. I mean seriously!), a bed of lollipop flowers (on request. I’ll leave it to you to guess which ones are the lollipops, but I’d try those round lollipop shaped flowers if I were you), a few other lawns with magic looking flowers and plants and a big meadow with cute little magic people, possibly fairies and elves living in there. There is also a silver / breadcrumbs trail leading from the house to one of the lawns/forests or vice versa. Who knows. Up to you.

I meant to have more dangerous, dark looking areas but strangely (and I really can’t explain this at all), I do not seem to own many dark or dangerous looking fabrics. Apart from an endless variety of dinosaur fabrics. Nevertheless, I am more than pleased with the result, I have to say.

As you can see, similar to the car play carpet, there are poppers everywhere to stick on magic items.

We have…

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… a magic key,

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… a magic ring,

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…. a magic wand (clearly! But you can also pretend it is a log or whatever else),

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… a treasure chest

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… with real silk lining – would you expect anything less?

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….um… a bottle of magic potion (not my finest work, I have to admit. And I did get told off for this one)

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… a magic book. Clearly my favourite. If not the only one out of the set I really like.

I guess my main problem with these “props” is their inconsistency. The treasure chest is really 3D, the book is beautifully “drawn”, similar to all the decoration on the house, the bottle is just nonsense, all the others are much more simple. I guess they should all look a bit like the book. With embroidery as a main feature. Even if then the treasure chest would lose its main feature. What do you think? Which one is your favourite?

Also, would you prefer playing on the car carpet or on the magic one?

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In any case, after a very slow start I really enjoyed the project, especially the free hand machine embroidery. Remember when I did that 3 hours course at Tilly and the buttons back in London? I really want to explore this technique even more and finally invest in a proper embroidery foot for my machine. Plus, I have realised that I have to take the “using up my fabric scraps” project a little bit more seriously.

But it is almost May, time to focus on Me Made May, so the scraps will have to wait.

 

 

 

 

Cosy Clown Coat

Remember, last post was about family members who are pleased with my creative work. But this is not always the case. In fact, just the same day, my husband looked at my work in progress, a cosy hoodie jacket,  and said: “You always have to do things three times because you are doing them before thinking.”  Obviously this is totally unjustified, fake news,  and just because at some point during the creative process the jacket  had looked like this:

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Honestly, just a minor mistake, and nothing that a pair of scissors and an additional seam couldn’t solve. And anyway, I only had to do it twice, not three times.

I am glad that he hadn’t seen that I had accidentally cut the hood halves not as pair (like gloves) but twice the same.

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I bet he would have interpreted this as yet another proof of his strange theory.

But back to the purpose of this post, said jacket.

I have bought the Janice pattern by pattydoo ages ago, clearly hoodies are a staple garment and every woman should have one or two.

Let me give you just a piece of advice here, from a fashionista and colour expert: When it comes to staple clothes, one should have them in neutral colours, I would suggest monochrome,  no pattern as one want to be able to combine them with all of these other crazy things in my  one’s wardrobe. So the fabric you have already seen, is clearly just perfect for it. Luckily I bought lots of it as I meant to make another Carol dress  out of it but continuous breastfeeding seems to make dresses a bit pointless these days.

But enough talking, let’s have a look at the result:

 

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a little bit of contrasting hood lining peeking out, just to add a splash of colour

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I am rather pleased with the result and know it will get worn a lot. Luckily we still get chilly mornings. Annoyingly during day time it is already rather warm and sunny around here.

I think it is a bit too long though. The pattern is designed for the use of normal shop bought zips so the lengths of the different sizes go in 5cm steps. If I wanted to use a normal zip, I would have to shorten it 5cm otherwise I have to adjust the zip. Which I have done before for the children’s jackets but it is always a bit messy.

So when I make the next one, I will have to see, how long I really want or need it. Obviously with those low-cut trousers these days, it is also nice to have a long jacket to get my middle-aged and always freezing back and bottom well covered up.

If you are by now thinking that I seem to have too much sewing time lately, you might be right. I do get a lot done and I am making a lot for myself.

I am trying to get ready for Me Made May and I will see what challenge I will set for myself this year.

In the meantime, I will jump over to RUMS and see if other ladies are getting ready too.

Scrap Sunday: It’s the little things

If you are following this blog since a while, you will know how hard I have tried in the past years to please Mr. No thank you. This madness culminated last September when I made the most amazing play mat. For a 5-year-old. I mean how often is he going to play with it, really?

Because it’s so amazing, here are the pictures again for those who were too lazy to click on the link:

At the time, it was well appreciated, but now I keep hearing a complaint. It seems that I have ruined the whole thing by forgetting the road marking on a very short piece. Except that I did it on purpose. To have a little “one way only” challenge.

Anyway, lets just forget about this big failure of mine.

At least a year ago, I dared pointing out the huge holes on the far too short pyjama, stupidly suggesting that we could throw that old piece away. Goodness. How could I not have known that this was his favourite piece of clothing. Ever. So I suggested to use the fabric to make something. Like pyjamas for the doll. Phew, the offer got accepted. I then put it in my box of future projects where it stayed and matured.

After a little accusation reminder a couple of weeks ago, we settled on a cuddling blanket and I got straight to work.

First I carefully cut along the seams to get the maximum out of it and obviously we needed to take the biggest piece to make the blanket. Everything else would have been silly. The biggest piece happened to be the back of the original onesie.

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When I folded it in the middle, I thought, it looks like a bunny so we made a bunny cuddle blanket with appliqued face.

 

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The blanket gets cuddled a lot and is most likely the best thing I have ever made. He will take it everywhere (when he moves house, not everywhere everyday). And he said: “That was really nice of you.” Which is definitely the best compliment that I ever heard re any of my makes. At least it feels like it after having tried so hard for years 🙂

And just for the record, I haven’t just managed to please the boy. The girl has also shown a quick smile once. She kept complaining that the boys have matching clothes and that she wanted to have matching clothes with the toddler as well.

So I made T-shirts. I wanted to use different colours for the sleeves but no, it needed to be the same. Although the mint would have looked better with dark pink sleeves. Just my opinion.

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Can you spot the difference?

Correct, different types of sleeves. Luckily I got away with that 🙂

The baby version is the klimperklein baby top with buttons at the side and the bigger version is my usual pattydoo raglan shirt pattern.

I love the fabric. When I ordered it I expected smaller lions and I was worried at first how the big ones would look on a tiny baby shirt. But I love it.