Something old, something new

I’ve been trying to work my way through a list of projects, many of which are stored on various chairs around my house. (You may remember from earlier posts that I have a wonderful creative space, but nothing seems to stay there long.) Each week I transfer the individual tasks onto a new page on my diary; the number never reduces!

However this week I have had a big push, and as well as completing the last of my alteration jobs, including a major deconstruction of a very well made but poorly fitting dress, I have pressed on with some of the lingerers.

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This is half of a favourite pair of shorts owned by one of KC’s school friends. Not only were they too small for the owner, but they had seen a lot of wear. I was asked to make something new out of them and accepted the challenge.

Now I don’t know if you have ever tried taking a pair of very well made shorts apart in order to harvest the fabric… it is not easy. At one point I handed the seam ripper and offending garment to Kitty and she did some of the hard work for me. The secret I discovered was to take it slowly and work around the structure of the garment to incorporate some of it into the design.

After a few false starts I managed to create the front of a cushion, using lots of the scraps to make straight cut binding for the piping.

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Given that the shorts fabric was a bit rough, I decided to make the back more tactile, and used a white brushed cotton which is very snugly. I covered buttons with some of the smaller scraps and had a little binding left to add a line of piping on the button flap. I tried a technique which is new to me, raw edge appliqué, to attach the recipient’s name. As a steam a seam convert I think this is something I will try again.

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I think this is probably the first time I have competed a proper upcycling project, but I think it is definitely something I will do again, though maybe not with a pair of shorts!

Cat x

The things I do

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A rainy Bank Holiday is never wasted if you are a crafty creative type. In fact it is an ideal excuse to get out the sewing machine, some fabric and make a lot of mess. Once the dogs have been walked (not by me – hurrah!) and the quantity of food in the house has been established (plenty) there is nothing to stop me from getting on with a few outstanding jobs.

Hiding under a dining room chair is a bag full of current mending projects and other third party requests. One of which is a bit bizarre.

Essentially I have been asked to convert a blanket into an item to be used for a stag weekend gag. I was given pretty precise instructions so I am hoping I got it right. I’ll leave it to your imagination as to how the game proceeds. Hopefully the Stag will go on to lead a full and happy life!

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Cat x

What next?!

Just_married_buntingHaving finally finished the 40 Makes for Lent Challenge (and discovering my deficiencies in the mathematics department) I have been wondering what to do next.

I do have a list of projects which need undertaking – not least that I need to get my stall in order for the summer selling season.  One thought I did have was that I should make 10 things per month which follow a particular theme.  Since the wedding season is upon us one of them could be 10 things for a Spring wedding.  Since I already have one thing complete it would seem to make sense, but I may yet have something else up my sleeve!

The bunting in the picture is for the daughter of one of our neighbours who gets married next week – let’s hope for better weather than we are currently getting.  I’ve never sewn with hessian before and I sincerely hope I never have to again.  It’s very rare for me to want to give up on something but this one drove me pretty close.  Not only did the hessian fray outrageously but it gummed up my lovely new sewing machine which is simply not on!

Cat x

Day 26

Megan BuntingDay 26, once again, is a string of gorgeous bunting. As I have said before these are one of the most popular things that Cat makes and it is easy to see why: the flags are just lovely.  Being able to pick the colours, name and style really does add that little je ne sais quoi for the intended recipient.

Kitty x

Day 17

Day 17 - DoorstopI think Kitty will be quite proud of me – not only have I managed to make some more stuff but I’ve also taken my own photos rather than relying on her super abilities – hope she is having a nice time on her school trip.

While dog-walking yesterday I was asked to make a doorstop for the son of a friend of a friend (I’m so well connected).  She had bought one from me at a Christmas fair and it had been much admired.  Given that this one was for a batchelor-pad, and I wasn’t given any clues on colour scheme I’ve used some of my very favourite fabric.

It weighs about 2.5Kg so I won’t be sending it by post.

Cat x

Day 14

LunchbagIn order to get in the mood of things, I had a look at ‘Packed Lunches in Primary Schools in the UK’ , a 70 page PDF file detailing packed lunches. Did you know that according to Mintel (2002), 5.5 billion lunches are packed for children each year in the UK? Yes, yes, I know, you’re all starting to drift off now. But as it happens, we’ve now arrived perfectly on the topic of the next make. Day 14 is a wonderfully colourful lunchbox, made by Cat for me to take to school. I think you’ll agree that March is a pretty chilly time of the year, and it never hurts to bring in a flask of soup for lunch – with the odd slice of freshly made bread perhaps?

We’ve been down the plastic boxes route, but I think this lunch bag is so much more fun. Buying a handmade lunchbag allows your child to pick their own pattern, colour and print. Eating should be fun and fashionable. The lunchbag has a lovely thick thermal lining in it, is fully washable and is similar to the Tardis in that there’s a lot more space on the inside than there appears to be on the outside.

One thing’s for sure – I’m going to take heed of the ‘Eat Me’ embroidery on the flap of the bag in the next few weeks!

Kitty x

Day 13

Felt MouseOk, we admit it. There’s a chance that we might be maybe, just a little bit, a teeny, eeny, meeny bit hooked on these adorable felt critters. But can you blame us? They’re just so cute! This mouse looks great in blue, and the purple witch’s hat and scarf add an element of character as well as much needed warmth in these cold temperatures. Cat might have picked herself a short straw on this one though- our household love them so much that she’ll be busy fulfilling all the requests until next Easter.

Kitty xxx

Day 11 – Journey to Oz

Journey to Oz

Strictly speaking this is probably make 10A since it is part of the same commission, however it was made on a separate day so I’m counting it!

This bunting is now on it’s way to sunny Australia (I was tempted to use a bigger envelope and wrap myself to get away from the rain) so it should soon be adorning a nursery wall in Melbourne.

Cat x

Day 10

Pink BuntingIs it Day 10 already? Today’s make is a commission, and will eventually make its way to a little girl called Matilda. The flags comprise floral, spotty and pink prints partnered with a bright pink string and letters resulting in a cute piece of decor for any room. Out of all the things that Cat makes, I have to admit that her bunting is one of my favourites. It suits any occassion: birthdays, weddings, parties, christenings, annual events, and is simply great for brightening up a room. Cat makes bunting per request of her customers and for special occasions- did you see her Union Jack themed bunting for the Jubilee? If you’re interested in having a closer look at the types of bunting Cat already makes, then follow the link on the blog to the Kid the Cat’s son etsy shop.

Kitty x

Sourcing fabrics

BuntingOne of the hardest things I have to do is to find fabrics for people who say things like ‘something in pink’ please.

The variety is endless and I’m left with a conundrum because theoretically there should be something in my stash, but there never is! Today I have been trying to find a mixture of pink, pale blue and grey to make bunting for a nursery. Not as easy as you would think – here are some of my suggestions, which would you choose?

Cat x