Category Archives: Scrap Sunday

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.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Scrap Sunday: The upcycling bag

For this one we need to start way back, a couple of years ago ….

Once upon a time…. don’t worry, it won’t get that bad.

Anyway, years ago, I have made a small shoulder bag for my daughter’s best friend. As I quite liked it I made a few more for other friends.

I never actually saw the little girl using her bag. It was always her mother carrying it with this very insisting and slightly scary glare in her eyes… until I made her her own. And one for my equally glaring daughter.

My friend seemed happy. But not only did she continue carrying her daughter’s bag around, she also kept telling me “casually”  that her other daughter really liked those bags and that the poor child was interested in placing an order and paying real money for it.

Around the same time she gave me her daughters old rain coat with the words that maybe I could use it for one of my sewing projects. After years and years of heavy hint dropping I finally gave in and made my first proper upcycling project. A bag made out of an old rain coat. Apologies for not taking a picture of the original rain coat but here is the bag:

I chose a London themed lining as it was supposed to be a bag for a young lady so it needed to be cool rather than the usual childish stuff. I am extremely pleased with the result, think it really looks cool. I am not sure what the girl thinks. Probably she never got it, instead there will be a blond woman running through London carrying three bags and glaring at other people who dare carrying nice bags. If you ever see her, don’t look her straight in the eyes, slowly move backwards and keep your bag tightly.

Oh, and just for the record, I also made another one for my niece who asked for  one for her birthday a few weeks ago.

I suppose my niece liked it… Thinking of it, I haven’t handed it over myself, maybe she never got it and there is a glaring lady with 4 bags running through London…

 

Scrap Sunday: Scrap gifting

This week we were really busy, almost stressed. We had to prepare a birthday gift for a little girl who likes crafting. And what better present could there possibly be than a personalised choice of material from crafter to crafter? Plus mummy gets to write an interesting blog post. So we have spent hours of choosing fabrics from my scraps, cutting them nicely with pinking shears, rolling up tiny balls of yarn, and finally sewing small bags for beads and glass gems. What a particularly nice and peaceful activity! To be enjoyed most with three children, ideally with two of them negotiating carefully an accurate schedule for the sewing machine use and a baby quietly making the most of that time of divided attention to measure the exact length of each thread and arranging a complicated maze with said thread.

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Last but not least I contributed something as well and made another personalised gift bag, just like for the birthday party a couple of weeks ago. I am actually quite fond of this one.

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I think dark blue for the zigzag is rather ideal, not as hard as black would have been yet still a proper border. As you can see there are a few minor issues, it is quite difficult to go around all these curves and corners correctly with a standard foot because you don’t see where you are going to insert the needle next. So I am considering to invest in a quilting foot to be able to freestyle easily.

Other than that, I have actually used up quite a bit of my scraps this week by making a few pieces of clothing for babies, I might or might not show them to you next week. Plus I made my new favourite piece of clothing for myself. I am just telling you to keep up the tension 🙂