Thursday, 29 May 2008

The sun has got his hat on!

Does anyone else feel that they get more done on sunny days? It certainly means I take more pictures!

Here's one of the nappy stacker. I finished it the other day. This was quite fun to make, because I just looked at some pictures and made it up as I went along.

The top was made out of a coathanger - one of those skirt ones with springs in it. I hate using them, because I'm always afraid they're going to stretch the waistband. So I put this one to good use by prying out the springy bits (which, as you remove them, travel across the room with some force if you're not careful), then wrapping the remaining bar with polyester wadding and covering it in the yellow fabric. The main body of the thing was just a big cuboid, with a bound opening down the front (and how I wish I could have found some orange bias-binding. Using ribbon is a pain). At the top the sides were pulled in to make the sides triangular. If that makes any sense. If anyone wants to make one, I'm more than happy to draw up some diagrams!

After I'd made it, I found that (of course) the bottom wouldn't lie flat. So I found an appropriately sized piece of cardboard and covered it with more of the yellow. That just sits inside the bottom of the stacker and holds the bottom flat and the corners out.

On a different topic, some of you may remember that on my old blog, I once tried to post every day for a month. I can't remember how far I got, but I do remember that the big problem I found was that I had to remember to do it every day (unlike with NaNoWriMo, which I completed, because I could do more in advance if I knew I was going to be busy, or catch up later if I missed a day). Now Blogger has a new feature where you can write posts in advance and it posts them automatically for you on the date you want. So I'm going to give it another go, and try and post every day in June. I'll try and work two or three days in advance, and then I don't think I'll have any problems keeping up. I know, I know - famous last words!

Friday, 23 May 2008

Work-In-Progress Friday

Although first, a quick lesson on why you should read the manual - I just this week found out, nearly two years after buying my digital camera, that it has a special focus setting for taking close-ups. I'm not a fantastic photographer but at least I should now be able to get everything in proper focus. It would help if this house let in any natural light whatsoever, though.

Anyway. These are what I'm working on at the moment.

This is as far as I've got with the birth sampler for Bob. I started with the tigers because they're in the middle, I think after I've finished their box I'll work upwards and do the giraffes and then the panda. I might need to rejig the borders a bit because I might want to make the bottom box bigger, to fit in a middle name as well. Need to do some measuring.

Like everyone else, I'm making a Baby Surprise Jacket - Mum had the book with the pattern in it so I thought I would give it a go. I'm finding the pattern very frustrating though. The design is very clever, but if it were written out a bit more clearly, I wouldn't have had to rip out nearly as many lines as I've knit. There's a lot of vagueness and ambiguity in the directions.

And finally, Bob's blanket. This is going really well so far, about a third done. I'm blocking and sewing together the squares as I go, because I think doing them all at once would bore me to tears, and also this way I can see the blanket grow as I go along. It's a bit lumpy at the moment but once it's finished I'll block it again and then hopefully the seams will all lie flat.

Have a nice bank holiday weekend everybody!

Monday, 19 May 2008

Further usefulness

This is the other thing I sewed last week while I was being useful.

It's a cot tidy! It will hang from the side of the cot and hold all kinds of things I'm sure. At the moment it's just holding Bear (he gets everywhere). And because we don't have the cot yet a) it's hanging from the curtain rail in the dining room and b) the two outside straps are only pinned on. Once I know the spacing of the bars I'll be able to sew them into place.

The main part of it is a sandwich of white cotton, polyester wadding and yellow polycotton. The pockets are two layers of green polycotton, bound with orange ribbon. The colour scheme is not completely random; it was inspired by the moses basket we're going to get. So expect to see more green, yellow and orange. I have plenty of the fabric left and am planning to make a nappy-stacker next. And I need to make a cushion cover as well, although I'm not sure if I'm going to crochet that; perhaps crochet but lined with the matching fabric might be the best idea. Hmm.

Oh, and in other news, Mouse and Rabbit are now in the shop.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Actually making useful things

So I was sorting out my wardrobe a few weeks ago (it became necessary), and I found this frock.

(bad picture, sorry)

I've always loved the skirt on this dress but not the bodice, and I've always half-meant to try and make it into a skirt, but chickened out. When I found it in my wardrobe the other week, I first thought 'I should give this to the charity shop - I haven't worn it in ages and probably won't wear it again.' Then I thought 'So what's to be lost by trying to make it into a maternity skirt?'

Some googling led me to this excellent tutorial, so I dug out some pieces of t-shirt that I had lying around and set to it.

I cut the bodice off the dress, hemmed it along the back and cut a larger section out at the front

I cut out a correspondingly-shaped piece of t-shirt fabric, and threaded elastic through the hem

Half an hour swearing at the sewing machine, et voilĂ !

It fits really well and is so cool and comfortable in this hot weather we've been having. I love wearing skirts in the summer, so I think I need to go into town at some point and hit the charity shops for skirts (then Primark for matching t-shirts). The whole thing took about an hour and a half, start to finish.

I've made something else useful this week as well, but I'm saving that up for another post. Must make the most of this burst of creativity.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Mouse and Rabbit

You all remember Bear, yes?

Well now Bear has two friends, Mouse and Rabbit:

When I made Bear, I didn't write up a pattern, so by looking at him I tried to make another bear, and write out how I did it this time. But the ears turned out a bit big and it looked more like a mouse. So then I tested out the pattern again and made a rabbit this time (deliberately; I'm not that bad at making ears). I'm amused by how different their body shapes are, though, considering they should be identical. Eh.

They are girlier than Bear and also it's summertime so I've put flowers in their hair. Mark said their necks looked 'weird' without scarves but I think they're OK.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Couple of bits

First of all, happy birthday Mark! Although it was actually his birthday yesterday (he has the Star Wars birthday). We had a little party with some of his family and also my parents came up with was lovely. This is his hedgehog cake which was very well-received, possibly because it contains so much chocolate. It's basically a chocolate sponge cake, cut in half and covered with a thick layer of chocolate buttercream icing, then chocolate buttons stuck in that, and Smarties for the face.

Today the weather has been so lovely! Hard to believe it's a Bank Holiday Monday. I have got some gardening done and it is just so nice and warm. Mmm.

I did also make these recently:

I might have to make some more; they are so quick and so cute.