more sensible sewing

I’ve been busy, cutting, pinning and sewing . . . nothing very exciting, but having a few more sensible sewing sessions.  6 years ago (time flies), when helping with MIL’s house clearance, there were lots of bed sheets, some never used, that I saved and had been storing in a cupboard ever since.  We don’t use sheets & blankets, we prefer quilts and quilt covers . . . but the advantage of bed sheets is, there’s an awful lot of fabric to use up.  MIL wouldn’t have liked for good fabric to go to waste, so I hope she’d approve of what I’ve done!

I pulled out two sheets in “blues” (both brand new), gave them a wash and iron.  And I’ve made a reversible quilt cover.  Added plastic poppers to the bottom of the quilt cover and had enough fabric to make matching pillow cases (2 in each fabric).  Btw:  when I say “pillow case” I use the word meaning “bed linen, so for use on bed pillows.

The hardest part was battling with two whopping great big sheets, and getting them cut square so I could sew and make to fit for a 200cm x 200cm quilt. There were quite a lot of scraps left over . . . the floral might make something pretty for my dolls. Not sure about the other fabric, but it’s going in the scrap box.

Another sheet, in beige, but slightly faded in places, gave enough to make 4 pillow cases (two already in use, so not in photo)  and I also came across a couple of “old” table cloths (mine, from about 30 years ago when we used table cloths).

Table cloths were without stains, but one had obviously been used/washed more often than the other . . . fabric also has a distinctive “kitchen” look to it, but I’ve turned it onto pillow cases regardless.   Before cutting and sewing, I did actually have a proper measure up, and you’ll be seeing more of the green soon because  I cut a couple of rectangles and strips, to finish off some of my scrappy table mats.

I do, of course, have drawers full of fabric I could have used for this sensible sewing, but I liked the idea of using the bedlinen & table cloths to make more bed linen.  Still have a couple of sheets, but I might save them as they’d make good backing fabric for future patchwork quilts.

“Life” a finish off

If you vaguely remember having seen a photo of this once upon a time

that means you’ve been following my blog for quite a number of years.  This is a cross stitch kit I stitched from February – July 2015.

A kit by Design Works”, artwork by Jo Moulton.  Not only did I love the colours but I loved (and still love) the sentiment:  ” Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away”.  Anyway, it was very enjoyable to stitch, but like most of my cross stitch projects, once finished, it was folded and put away in “the drawer”.  Where it remained forgotten about for almost 6 years.

However, after my recent bout of sensible sewing, and the making of cushion covers for kitchen chairs using a sage green fabric.

Plus, after the new sofa covers (not been clawed to pieces yet!) . . . I remembered my “Life” design and realised it would look rather nice  on the “new” sofa.  I had plenty of the fraying sage green fabric left so I made another simple back of a cushion (same as above).  Cut a few strips to add borders on the front.  Did some very sparse quilting on the front, just to hold the wadding behind in place, and voilà!

There are still numerous folded cross stitch pieces in the drawer, waiting patiently to be finished off properly, but for now, I’m just very happy to have this one finally on display!

 

sensible sewing

I’ve been doing some “sensible sewing” for the past few weeks, by which I mean, not fun, but practical.  Sewing jobs that needed to be done.  First up it was mending.  Mending a few holes/rips in a couple of pairs of the husband’s trousers. Also hemmed a pair of jeans I bought myself last year and that were about an inch too long (despite me being tall with a 31″ inside leg).

After that, I decided that the cushions on our kitchen chair seats really needed some attention.

Way back, in 2015, I bought some square seat pads to protect the wicker seats of our chairs from cat claws.  They weren’t terribly pretty, but they did the job.  They had 2 ties on each, to be attached to chairs to stop them falling off but . . . with our cat, Ducky, who loves to chew things, half the ties had been shortened, not to say gone missing, and cushions were forever falling on the floor.  In June 2018 I made new covers.

Made from light-weight cotton, sewing ties on all 4 corners, and fastening under the seat.  It took Ducky a while to eat his way through these, and they did stay on a bit longer lol.  But I was fed up with them slipping about once a few ties were missing and therefore came up with a new solution.  Chairs now look like this (oops chair bars needs a clean!)

!

I removed the purple cotton ones (will be recycling fabric for patchwork) and made new covers in a sturdier fabric which I originally bought to make new sofa covers (but chickened out when faced with complex shapes of sofas and sheer volume of sewing required). Fabric is a lovely sage green and looks almost denim but it isn’t. In fact, I can’t remember what it’s made of but boy, it frays like rotten!

Anyway . . . cushion pads are 17″ so I cut top squares 18″, and the underside is made in two parts, with a velcro fastening.

In order to keep cushions securely on chair seats, with nothing dangling for Ducky to chew on, I added triangular flaps.  I made those by cutting 12″ squares, cutting into 4 triangles on the diagonal, and sewing those in pairs.  Having to overlock at each stage because of the fraying fabric.  I made 10 cushion covers, which meant 40 triangles.

So a big pile of triangles to overlock, then turned right sides out and top stitched.  Once all the prep work was done it was simply a question of sewing cushion covers together (and overlocking).   Front & back right sides together with 4 triangles inside. Seamed, overlocked, and turned right sides out. To end up with this.

And then attach velcro bands to the points of the triangles.

Looks a bit wierd, but once on the chair, it stays firmly in place, and underside of chair is nice & neat.  Nothing dangling!

On a side note, I also found an easy solution for our sofas (on @m@zon).  They were a dark slate grey but looking a right mess because of Le Bleu who had totally destroyed several areas with his claws.

This is the colour, with Ducky, the chewer at full stretch.  Anyway, thanks to on-line shopping, I bought a couple of pretty sofa covers.  They’re “made in China” (but then what isn’t these days?) and I don’t know how long they will withstand any claw attacks, but for the time-being, I’m admiring what could be mistaken for two new sofas.

Each cover came with a matching cushion cover but I’d only put one on for this photo.

ScrapHappy # March

Time to link up with the ScrapHappy gang, and get creative.

 

For this time around, I did some re-using, which I’m going to count as scraps because otherwise some stuff would have just been binned.

I recently bought myself a new iron-board cover, purple, of course.

Which left me looking at the old ironing board cover, and thinking it wasn’t being very ecological just to throw it in the bin.  It wasn’t ripped or anything. The surface just looked all brown & burned, with unsightly water-marks all over from when I’m steam-ironing.  Not the sort of thing you’d want to be ironing crisp patchwork blocks on, I think you’ll agree.

Anyhow . . . the husband had put in a request for a padded workbench mat.  Difficult to explain, but he does a fair amount of renovating old wooden things, and he therefore needed a padded mat to protect the newly renovated wood from the hard surface of his workbench.  I didn’t want to waste decent wadding on something like that, hence, the light bulb over my head and a new use found for the above.

For some reason, my Juki started playing up, as I tried to sew through 2 layers of old curtain, with the ironing board cover sandwiched between.  Ended up setting old lady Singer 99k up, to do the main assembly job, and she was thrilled to be back in active service.

This is the mat in place.  I even made use of the curtain ring bits, as a design feature, because they give extra weight to keep the flaps down, therefore to keep the mat in place.  Once that was done, I then found myself with some leftover ironing board cover.

Cut two pieces, approx 6″ x 12″ and overlocked.  Got what I needed from the old curtain.  And I made a pair of oven mitts.

I didn’t even try to make oven gloves, with thumbs.  Nor did I try to make them pretty, as you can see by visible overlocked edges  Just made these, with space to slide four fingers under, and a loop to hang.  They do the job, although you do need to wear both when getting a dish out of the oven.

And . . . couldn’t resist taking a photo to show you the final scraps that went in the bin.

secret xmas crafting revealed

Christmas has come and gone . . . I can now show you a few photos of some gifts I made this year, for family and friends. I realise I didn’t take photos of everything but not to worry.

YipYip were something that made me smile while making, and I made a couple, with rasta crocheted hair, rather than pipe-cleaners . . . in bright green for Toddler Viking

In turquoise and shocking pink for our neighbours’ daughters.

A very last minute sewing project with a length of cotton found in my stash (something the MIL bought years ago, and I wonder what on earth for!)  . . . which seemed perfect to sew up as a pair of Wendy house curtains.

Not sure I’d want these in my house, but they’ll look lovely hanging in 3-year- old Mona’s play house this summer!

Sewing and knitting, in doll size next, with a summer dress and bolero cardigan for Lindashee’s 57cm BJD doll.

I did also knit two sweaters for her male 67cm doll, but forgot to take a photo.

And, last but not least . . . a little blackwork scissor keep for sister-in-law.

advent calendar December 1st – 5th

This year I did something I don’t usually do . . . I sent off a parcel, early November, to my sister, with lots of little packages inside, each one with a number . . . her very own advent calendar.  2020 has been such a dismal year, and my sister works in a hospital, so she’s one of our essential workers . . . I felt she needed something special to make her feel special this year.  And if I’m honest, it also cheered me up, and made me forget about what a gloomy year we’re having, as I was kept busy thinking of different ideas to include in the parcel.

She said she’s going to open a pressie a day in the morning, so I’ll be sharing photos with you, of what she found inside.

Today we’re December 5th, so I can show you what was in packages 1 – 5.

1st – little hand-stitched decoration with wooden frame.  2nd – letters N O E L for her to decorate and use in a festive crafting project.  3rd –  Needle book with cross stitch needles. 4th – very small Gorjuss notebook, perfect handbag size.  5th – two fabric masks in a pretty blue butterfly fabric (sister loves butterflies).

keeping my mind on other things

With Christmas now officially less than 1 month away, but with Christmas itself still an uncertain event (ie, not knowing yet what lockdown restrictions will be – French government taking things 2 weeks at a time now) . . . I’ve already finished my xmas shopping (all done on-line) and am just waiting for the last few parcels to arrive so I can wrap.  In the meantime, I’m trying to keep my mind and hands busy with other things.  A bit of sewing

This is just one of several doll dresses I’ve made recently. Am currently working on some doll dungarees.

It’s crochet weather (cold outside and best place is indoors by the radiator).

This green chap is Gary Gecko.  He’s the first pattern in the book “Bookies – bookmarks to crochet” by Jonas Matthies.  I treated myself to the book, which contains 17 of Jonas’ patterns, after crocheting the book rat which was available for free on Jonas’ site: Supergurumi.    Patterns all look fairly simple to make, assuming you’ve got all the basic crochet knowledge but sadly (as feedback on the book suggested) there are a few blatant mistakes in patterns.  If you’re competent and on your toes, nothing that can’t be corrected, but still something of a disappointment when you pay out good money for a book.

Anyway, I still had lots of fun crocheting Gary the Geko (just be extra careful of the s2tog when doing the tail!) . . . and I already have plans to try more patterns from the book. In case you missed it, here is a photo of my book rat, which I called Splat (crocheted in May this year).  In the book, this is the second pattern and called Lisa the book rat.

There’s also been some knitting, but I haven’t got around to taking photos, so that’ll save for another day.  And a fair amount of reading . . . but with local Library shut, due to lockdown, one of my neighbours has lent me a few books and they’re all by French authors so I won’t bore you giving titles & names you won’t want to read.

 

ScrapHappy #September – crafting for dolls

Linking with lots of ScrapHappy members today all links here

KateGun , TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawnGwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin and Vera

to show what I’ve been up to with a few scraps.  Both knitting and sewing.

One little knitted dress, using the 30g remaining of a 100g ball of Marriner Mermaid DK.  And one little cotton dress plus matching hair bow, using a pink floral fabric from my scrap bag, and 3 tiny buttons which have been i n my stash for décades.  Both outfits are for 40cm Disney Animator dolls. If you’re not squeamish about dolls, and want to see what they look like on, feel free to visit my other blog: Claire’s Collections.

 

ScrapHappy # July

15th of each month is the date I link up with Kate, Gun and a whole group of crafters (list of links further down) to make use of those scraps.  It’s been more fabric scraps for me this month, leftovers from past clothes-making projects . . . which are ideal when you have a collection of dolls that need clothing, like I do.  No photos of actual dolls in this post (so no need to shut your eyes). If you’d like to see dolls modelling the following outfits, you can find them here.

Anyway, time for photos.

A  knee-length jumpsuit in brown cotton, with very pretty floral print, plus matching head band, made for a 48cm vinyl doll.  This letfover fabric had been in my drawers since 2011, a remnant from a dress-making project for my daughter.

Another 3/4 length jumpsuit, for a 44cm vinyl doll.  This is more a polyester cotton.  Scraps found in a box I inherited from MIL several years ago.  The pattern for jumpsuit is from the July issue of “Modes & Travaux”.  Original pattern meant for quite a dumpy 40cm doll, I adapted for my slightly taller, more slender dolls.

A little dress for a 40cm vinyl doll with scraps from a tunic I made myself not long ago.  And no, it’s not pattern matched but it does fit the doll, therefore it does the job!

Here’s the list of other ScrapHappy members.

KateGun , TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin and Vera

more tunics with NewLook 6871

Summer is most definitely here.  It’s been hot.  So I pulled out one of my favourite tunic patterns and set to sewing.  NewLook 6871 view D, is a pattern I’ve already made up nine times – yes that’s right, nine times!  I suppose I should have tried some of the other views, but I’m not a great fan of sleeves for the summer, nor of lace embellishments (which is what the other views are about).   Anyway, the good thing, when you’ve already followed a pattern so many times is that you know exactly what you’re doing.  You know it’s going to fit, and everything goes according to plan.

I chose 2 fabrics from my stash, and cut out pièces to make 2 tunics one afternoon, because it’s the prep work that I always find takes the longest.  Deciding, since I had plenty of both fabrics, not to go for contrasting yoke & bands. Just to have tunics all in one fabric.    It then took me 2 afternoon sewing sessions to make up each tunic.  First one, I made using a green on white print I bought a few years ago.

And second one in a very fun fabric: “Retro Chic” by The Woodrow Studio.

You won’t get to see a photo of me modelling either tunic.  They are both a lovely fit, and ever so comfortable, that’s not the problem.  Just that  I gave myself another hair cut recently, and it turned out a lot shorter than it was supposed to (think Sigourney Weaver in “Alien” or Demi Moore in “GI Jane”).   I, therefore,  won’t be posing for photos until it’s had a chance to grow a little (a lot).