Tag Archives: scrap fabric

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.

 

 

Bye Bye 2016 – the year of the most magnificent make

If you don’t fancy reading an epic and boring post please scroll to the truly amazing pictures at the end. They are worth it. Really.

As we have established in the last post, 2016 is officially a not so good year. And I guess since then there have been a few incidents that did not quite help.

Personally, I would also say, it has not been the best year of my life but certainly the one with the most challenges. And there is actually a good thing about challenges, too. They make you grow. And I am determined not to let the bad things win. Instead of moaning, being scared and living in split societies, lets pull ourselves together and think what we can do to reunite and work as a team. (I am talking to you, my friends in the land of brexit and in Trumpistan, well and in all European countries I guess) Look around you and do something to unite people instead of separating them. Founding a knitting group is definitely a good thing. I guess for the male readers of the blog I would recommend playing football or starting to talk to strangers in the pub. But I suppose you are doing that already.

I also want to use this post to show you the greatest thing I have ever made. In my whole life. I love it and I want to wrap myself into it. I am really proud of it. Since about three months I want to write an appropriate post about it. But as it deserves a hair cut, a professional fotographer and probably a studio with proper lighting (yes it does deserve all of that), I had to delay it. I still haven’t found a photographer (mainly because I wasn’t looking) but I really want to share it with you to show you that 2016 wasn’t actually just bad. So, those few pictures taken on an early September morning will do. I trust my skilled followers to imagine the thing in its whole glory.

But let me start from the beginning. Ever since I have children, I wanted one of these and moving back to Austria, into a bigger flat, I thought it would be finally time to get it: a play carpet with roads on it. A trip to a Swedish furniture shop made me realise that the ones you can purchase don’t feel nice materialwise and are certainly not as cool as the one we had as children. Which was basically a huge piece of blue fabric, possibly a thin denim, with simple stitched lines to mark the roads. In all those years I hadn’t realised that my mum had made it. So I decided to make one myself. I had seen street fabrics so I was initially thinking of buying one of these, finish the edges and voila.  Certainly I did not intend to invest hours of work to mark the roads by hand stitching them.

And that might be the moment when I got carried away a little bit. I thought I had finally found my perfect niche product where I could earn my living. Not too much material involved and certainly quick to sew. I had the vision of a take away play mat, maybe with a little holder with handles, similar to a picknick blanket. Or how about attaching the handles directly to the mat? In which case I would need a second layer of fabric to have a nice back. And as my husband pointed out, one or even two layers of fabric would not be a nice texture. So I would need to add some padding. So material costs were already on the rise, work load still under control. I guess you would still find some people who would buy it for a reasonable price (from my point of view)

Sure those fabrics with street prints on them are not the cheapest and to be honest, I liked the simplicity of our own blanket as it leaves so much room for your own imagination. I was torn. And did some research. And found some wonderful and crazy examples, like the one Schnabelina made. For very obvious reasons she calls it play mat “deluxe”. Or this one by ollewetter. I really liked the idea of adding a pocket on the outside. Obviously if you have a take away play mat then you’ll need to take a few cars with you. So fabric costs were going up again but still under control as left overs could be finished off. Time involved was on the rise as well. Still an affordable result though I thought. At this point I was already mentally designing a website for my play mat shop. Only mentally, I don’t know how to design a website.

Those two examples have impressed me a lot. Schnabelinas tunnel and also ollewetters petrol station are so cool. Again, I had to rewrite my business plan. Using up left overs would make it possibly less expensive fabricwise but time was exploding. Hmm. I guess this was the moment when my project left the “not exactly fortune generating but still reasonable business ” area and became a “slightly over the top birthday present for someone who will not actually play that much with it”.

Anyway, here it is.

From the very first draft to a full scale pattern (as a modern designer you will obviously need a computer and a cup of coffee. And a very long ruler. You guys won’t have any of these, it is just for professionals, you see)

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Checking if scale works for real life play

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I kept the original pattern and cut out shapes on transparent paper to be able to check fabric later.

Slowly things are taking shape:

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For the back I used a dotted cotton. I think it is a nice and colourful look and it also hides the cleverly placed poppers which keep the folded mat in bag size.

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The whole thing is padded with a thick layer of… well…. padding. It has a really nice and soft texture now.

For the front I used a grey cotton as background and then different fabrics, mainly greens cut out and appliqued. Depending on the used fabric, you could imagine a zoo in one corner and a, rather dangerous, seaside on the bottom edge with a little bit of sandy beach in the corner. The roundabout features a flower bed. Or a flower shop if you want. But definitely something with flowers.

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I made a variety of buildings, some have a more obvious use than others who are supposed to give the player more room for imagination.  Apparently the intended fire station at the top in the previous picture can also be used as church (by every annoying and not seeing the truth person I asked)

I just needed my own petrol station:

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img_5401-2The very attentive readers amongst you (not too many I know) may have noticed that the helicopter landing spot in the dark green has been replaced by the hospital in the second picture. How is this possible? Another, similar play mat? No. This is my favourite, incredibly clever feature: all those buildings are actually removeable. There are one type of popper sides all over the play mat and the builings have the other type. So you can clip them on wherever you want (obviously not really wherever you want, only on the poppers, silly)

And just a few more pictures, because I am so impressed and pleased with myself 🙂

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Here, you can also admire the zig zagging around all edges and for the street markings and zebra crossing. Well and some dinosaurs who invaded the mat.

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As I was not the only extremely pleased person, my daughter requested a car play mat as well. I thought it is silly to have two of them in the house and convinced her that a enchanted forest, fairytale scenery would be much better. Now I have to make one of these. Except that I don’t know how. But hey, another challenge which will make me grow (see how I cleverly came back to the start of this post?)

Have a good end of the year and I wish you all a happy and healthy 2017 with lots of new friends.

 

 

 

 

 

Scrap Sunday: What I meant to say

It is Sunday evening and I so wanted to write the weekly Scrap Sunday post. Except that it has been a looong day, party with 6 cakes included and I am tired. Too tired to write a post.

I meant to tell you the good news that my former friend is my friend again. Life is too short to be angry at people who were probably trying to be nice when they actually make you suddenly have to question your (sewing and blogging) existence.

I meant to tell you that my sister in law inspired me with a picture of her latest make – a mobile phone charging bag: A little cute bag where you put your phone during charging so the phone and the cable are safely stored away. She hade made hers out of thick woolen felt. Looks really stylish and grown up.

I would have told you that I experimented with left over fabrics and very heavy interfacing as I do not own any felt. I would probably have made and shown you some pictures of the process, including a change of mind pocketstylewise. And I would have taken some nice pictures of the result. A little bag with a perfectly sized opening to put the plug through. With a pocket big enough to hold your mobile phone and he cable. Neat edges.

But I can’t tell you any of this. Because I went to a party where I ate too much cake and Tiramisu. Now I am tired and this is all I have got:

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Such a shame, it would have been a gread Scrap Sunday project.

 

 

 

Scrap Sunday: No jokes today, sorry

This was meant to be a really funny post full of anecdotes about a certain person in my life who is slightly, just slightly hypochondriac. But to be honest I don’t feel like making jokes these days. I am shocked and sad about the UK’s EU referendum. So many things went wrong, I don’t even know where to start and yet it is so simple. The European Union is like a marriage, built to make us all stronger for the good times but even more for the bad times. It was far to important to use it for silly power games by short sighted little boys on the playground politicians who are then all shocked by the result and its consequences.

Anyway, this is not the place to discuss this, so lets go back to Scrap Sunday.

I found a nice little project to use up some scrap fabric. A little wallet for your homeopathic remedies. I followed the Globbi freebook by madiGreen on farbenmix.

Unfortunately I followed the instructions too closely as actually my homeopathic remedies seem to come in bigger containers than the ones used in the e-book so the result is a bit tight.

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Plus, when I ironed it flat before top stitching, the iron was a bit too hot for the woven trim and shrank it a little bit which subsequently gathered the fabric a bit. (a lot of bits in that sentence).

Other than that I am very pleased with the result and I find it an extremely useful gift for people who pick up deadly diseases such as rhinopharyngitis like others catch a cold.

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It also reminded me that I should pay more attention to Scrap Sunday and think a bit harder about small projects. So watch this space! (She said boastfully whilst ignoring the fact that The Move was happing in about a month)