ScrapHappy – if the hat fits . . . (and unbirthday in July)

I’m linking up with Kate and Gun, the two ladies who organise ScrapHappy, which is a once a month post (always on 15th) to encourage us crafters to make use of our scraps.

Earlier this month, I showed you a couple of sewing projects, where I was having some trial and error with tunic sewing.  I did end up with 2 completely wearable tunics, it’s just that one of them is too big for me.

Anyway . . . whoever does clothes making knows that you always end up with a fair amount of fabric scraps (or is it just me?).  I’ll probably use some of my leftover tunic fabric for patchworking, but I was still on a roll with sewing patterns, so wanted to see if I could actually make something else out of my grey floral fabric.  And found the perfect project!


I made a baby’s sun hat!  NewLook # 6274.

hat 02

Another learning curve for me . . . who’d have thought I’d be trying my hand at making a hat one day?   With the hot summer here, and 9 month old little girl just opposite, soon to be going to Corsica for the summer holidays, I decided to make and gift the hat as an un-birthday present for July.

I had asked the Mum beforehand for baby’s head measurement which corresponded perfectly to the pattern size M.  And it fits!

Mona hat 01

Hmmmm . . . little neighbour isn’t quite sure if it matches her pink PJs.

Mona hat 02

She’s not even sure you’re supposed to wear a hat when you’re almost ready for bed.

I’ll definitely be making a few more baby hats in future!

Linking up also to other crafters who regularly join in with ScrapHappy.

Titti, Heléne, Eva, Sue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan, Karen,
Moira, Sandra, Linda, Chris, Nancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne,Jon,Hayley and Dawn


the more successful tunic

The other day I showed you a photo of the tunic I’d made which turned out way too big.  Although I said you’d never see me wearing it, I am going to show you since a photo is necessary for comparison.  It doesn’t look obvious, because my arms have pushed the fabric in and given it a slight shape, but it really is straight up/straight down. I think you’ll agree, it’s wide over the shoulders (half hiding cat tattoo). Hubby reckons it’s too long as well lol.  Anyway, here it is.  It makes me feel very frumpy, and my snazzy medical shoes (foot is still not back to normal size), while an improvement on the black post-op ones, do nothing to cheer me up either.

tunic 1st

NewLook #6602.

Now, let’s compare to this one.

tunic 2nd version

Same fabric, different pattern (NewLook 6871) yet also cut in a size L

tunic 2nd

This style seems to be a much better fit on me.  The yolk part fits nicely; the gathering on the bodice part work better for me than side darts and it has a more flared shape to it.

second pattern

I could have used two constrasting fabrics (I’ve made the same as the lady in red & white) but deliberately kept to all the same fabric.  The idea being to “test” whether it was the fabric which made the first tunic not quite right for me, the size or pattern style.

tunic comparison

Now I’ve decided the fabric isn’t the culprit (because I think this soft grey floral rather suits me –matches my hair colour) . . . I am seriously toying with the idea of re-making the first pattern but in a size M and a few inches shorter.  If I do, it will be in a totally different fabric.  I am not going to try and alter the first one despite several suggestions from fellow sewists.  I enjoy making things.  I don’t enjoy taking them to pieces to try and problem-solve.

Anyhoot . . . I was rather pleased to see that I managed to get two tunics out of my grey floral print.  I had bought a large 3m piece for only 10€ which makes for a very reasonably priced tunic.  Still have some scraps left over, as is often the way, when clothes making, but they won’t go to waste.  In fact, I’m already busily working on a new project which I will be able to show you on 15th, when it’s time to link to ScrapHappy!

what to do?

I was all fired up to do some clothes making the other day, after my SIL came round for the afternoon, needing my help to pin & cut a pattern for her, since she wants to try a simple project.  I helped her with her pattern, and off she went home to sew.  She’ll give me a shout if she needs a hand along the way.  This gave me the incentive I needed, the following day, to pull out one of my own patterns


NewLook 6602.

The Plan being to make myself a summer tunic like in view C in a grey/beige floral fabric, and then to make a pair of beige cotton trousers. Seeing the lady in white, I thought my colour combo would look just as sleek and sophisticated, but more practical than white.  And thought it looked a bit “dressier” than what I usually wear.  Now, the BIG mistake I made is, I didn’t bother asking husband to measure me up properly, across shoulders etc, and all I did was measure my bust.  That told me I needed to make a size L (which wasn’t much of a surprise as I’ve put on a bit of weight in recent months).  Problem is: even if I’ve put on extra padding in all the soft parts, my shoulders are no broader than before which should have alerted me, and made me use a size M, making adjustments where necessary for boobs. But I didn’t.

I was rather proud of myself, because I think this is my best sewing effort ever.  It’s just a simple tunic, but there was quite a lot of construction work (for me) with facing.

failed tunic 04

Which I over-locked along the lower edge, so it’s all wonderfully neat.  And then there was the excitement (and some worrying) when I had to work out how to turn things right sides out “through the right shoulder” after sewing on the facing.  I also made a very neat job, even if I do say so myself, of the right shoulder and finished neck & armholes neatly by top stitching all the way around.

failed tunic 03

I even found two lovely buttons in my tin which were in keeping with my grey floral print.  I should have stopped way before I got to the finishing stage though because I already knew this tunic was going to be way too big.  I don’t even need to undo the buttons to put it on!

failed tunic 02

I probably should have tried it on Ivy at an earlier stage too.  I sometimes wonder why I bothered buying myself a new dummy. She just stands around doing nothing all day, as I never think to ask her to help me.

While I am very proud of my sewing . . . the tunic itself looks as awful on me as it does on Ivy. It just hangs, like a bin liner.  Totally shapeless.

failed tunic 01

Well not totally shapeless, since it looks fine on the coat hanger but on me, it looks like one of the pinafores my gran used to wear over her normal clothes, to do the housework.  I can’t decide whether it’s because it’s too big, the style doesn’t suit me, or the fabric is a bad choice.  I usually wear quite low round or V necks.  Nothing too revealing, but I don’t like clothes too high around my neck . . . so why on earth did I even try this pattern in the first place?  I thought it would make a nice change, I suppose lol.

The question now is: what to do?  I really don’t think I have the strength to take it all to pieces and attempt to alter the offending too wide shoulders.  This wouldn’t solve the problem of the higher round neckline anyway.   Do I stick it in the Red Cross clothes bin, in the hopes it’ll be passed on to someone somewhere?  Do I take it to pieces and try to adapt it to a more “me” style?  Or do I just stuff it in a drawer and forget about it?

Other option . . . if anyone reading this actually likes it, I’m happy to post (seriously).  Tunic, measured flat, measures 17” (43cm) across shoulder line;  23” (58cm) across under arms; and length of 30” (77cm). I’m making the same offer on my French blog, so seriously, if anyone likes this tunic and reckons it’ll fit/suit, I’ll post to anywhere.  If more than one person is interested, I’ll pull a name out of a hat.  You have until Friday 6th.

Husband measured me properly, after the event, and I’m only 15″ (38cm) across the shoulders which explains why the tunic is way too big on me, and a 40″ (102cm) bust.  The L size is supposed to be for 40″ – 42″ bust.

cloth baby books – warts and all.

Mummy & Daddy Viking are getting ready to welcome Baby Viking.  Still 2 months before due date, but there’s DIY going on in their home, involving plastering, painting, and laying parquet.

I’m keeping busy here and starting to prepare a few things.  My first crafting project being inspired by

vignettes 01


vignettes 02

Two different series of farmyard animal fabric squares.  Which I sliced and sashed



I won’t bore you with all the pages . . . you get the idea!  Then quilted and assembled to make a cloth book.

viking book 01

Assembly didn’t go quite as expected, but I honestly don’t think Baby Viking will be criticising grandma’s sewing (at least I hope not!).  A lovely bright green and some purple for the cover –  2 of grandma’s favourite colours.  And pig prints on front and back because Daddy Viking loves pigs.

viking book 03

The inside looks like this.

Viking book 02

There are a total of 16 pictures in this book, for Baby Viking, and a matching green silicon teething flower.

While on a roll . . . and because my English niece is expecting a baby boy in September.  The cover in orange (another of my favourite colours).

orange book 01

I changed my page assembly technique for the orange book.  And there are only 12 pictures in this one.

orange book 02

orange book 03

I bet you’re wondering what that little orange tag thing is for, aren’t you?  Well, that was something that didn’t go according to plan.  There’s always something, isn’t there?  The plan was to add a tag and popper so this book could be kept fastened shut.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take into account the thickness of the closed book (with all those wadded pages) . . . and my tag was too short.  I couldn’t remove it because that would have meant messing up my seams . . . so it’s just there, for no reason other than for people to wonder why it’s there.  I’m sure my future great nephew will find a use for it. Possibly something to chew on, or simply to fiddle with while turning the pages?

practical sewing and a thank you

I’ve been quite busy these past few weeks with some very colourful patchworking – which I can’t reveal just yet.  However, I also did some less colourful, and more practical sewing, which I can share.

I’d been meaning to do something about the cushions on our kitchen chairs for ages.  I bought a set of seat cushions a few years ago because it was cheaper to buy ready-made, than to buy inserts and make my own.  They were to protect the chair seats, which are made of straw, from cat claws.  The main problem with these cushions (apart from getting grubby very quickly . . .  was that Ducky


found a new distraction.

practical 01

He ate his way through the ties that were there to tie cushions onto chairs.  In this photo, you can see one of the ties which was chewed to the knot.  On others, he went so far as to chew where it was sewn to the cushion!  And not just on one chair!  Over time he gradually worked his way through all 8 chairs, chewing sometimes one, sometimes both ties!  This meant, every time we pulled out a chair to sit down, not only were the cushions getting grubby, but 9 times out of 10 the cushion fell on the floor. 

I was suddenly spurred into action to do something about this when our daughter, aka Lindashee, said she would be travelling to France for work, and coming to stay 2 nights with us.  Literally on the day she was due to arrive, I pulled out a large piece of fabric I’d been hoarding for years.  3 metres x 150cm bought about 8 years ago which had cost 10€.

practical 04

The diagonal lines are a pale green which, you will see in other photos, does sort of blend in with the kitchen. 

practical 03

The ties aren’t colour-coordinated  – I used navy blue – but I decided to sew on all four corners.  I didn’t even bother making the covers with an opening (for washing) either.  Just machine sewed the final seam shut. 

practical 05

And managed to tie UNDER the seat part, in the hopes that Ducky won’t be tempted to start chewing.


They’ll do the job of protecting the seat part from claws, which is their main purpose.  And for only 10€ worth of fabric, I had enough to make new covers for all 8 chairs.

A last photo, totally unrelated:

from Sabine

to say thank you to Sabine, a French friend who lives in Germany.  She went to a patchwork/crafts show not long ago and sent me a lovely FQ plus more bookmarks for my collection.

eye candy

I’ve been extremely naughty of late . . . unable to resist having a flurry of shopping with Mr Visa and buying in reams & reams of gorgeous fabrics!  First up, I went searching for some “solid” colours to match my recent buy of the Hungry Caterpillar stars.  That’s the fabric I bought to make a baby quilt for Baby Viking. 

I bought in a skinny quarter of each colour and I’ve got 2m of the star fabric.  Solid white will probably also be used, but these are the new fabrics, hand-picked for my first grandchild.

gender neutrals

Some people query the wisdom of buying patchwork fabric on-line because they find it difficult to match colours.  I have to say, I’ve never encountered this problem.  I just placed my star fabric on my computer desk while shopping, and chose colours on screen.  The star fabric was bought from Pelenna Patchworks and the six colours from a French seller on etsy.

You won’t see these fabrics again until after baby is born. 

Next, I took advantage of a 50% off sale on Jaycotts – one of my favourite on-line shops for clothes-making patterns.


I hope to try and make myself a pair of fitted trousers – but that won’t be my priority sewing project.  And couldn’t resist grabbing some baby & toddler patterns (plus a Kids dress pattern, thinking of our neighbour, Cléo).  The 4 baby & toddler patterns all offer options to make for little boys or little girls (even though there’s a little girl modelling for the two middle ones). 

With Baby Viking due in August, and my English niece expecting a baby boy in September, I won’t try and make anything in newborn size for this summer.  Plan will be to make something for NEXT summer.  However, I’ll be able to get in some practice sewing in newborn size for a couple of my reborn dolls. 

And, because you can’t make clothes without fabric . . .  I have a favourite on-line shop located in Paris: les coupons de saint-pierre, which sells 3m cuts at unbeatable prices.   


I completely fell in love with these flamingos and bought two different colourways as well as a fun kid print, some solid white, and some white waffle cotton.  Little brain knows what these are for, but you’ll have to be patient.

And final photo to show a sneak peek of a happy dance.

sneak peek

That’s all I can show you for the time-being.  My first little sewing project as grandma to be, for Baby Viking.  Parent Vikings occasionally stop by here, so that’s all I’m willing to share for now.  It doesn’t matter they can guess what it is from the photo . . . they will still get a surprise (I hope) when they see the real thing. 

happy un-birthdays in May

I had lots of fun cross stitching a couple more freebie designs recently. Two partner designs, with two naughty partners in crime, by Sylvia and called “Der Dieb” and “Der Dieb 2”.  Der Dieb being German for “the thief”.

der dieb x2

I wasn’t sure how I was going to finish these two designs until the stitching was done, and then it came to me.  Two little coasters! Which then winged their way to NanaCathy and Mr E (because I don’t see why husbands of crafters shouldn’t celebrate an un-birthday from time to time!).

dieb 01

I didn’t send the matching mugs & spoons (sorry Cathy lol) but I did make them in two different colours, being inspired by the cross stitched border on each.

dieb 04

dieb 05

They were very quick & simple to make.  Two 5” squares of patchwork fabric for each, and a square of wadding.

dieb 03

I went for contrasting print fabric on the back.

dieb 02

Hopefully these will come in useful to protect wooden furniture from either hot mugs or from cool glasses, with condensation dripping down.  As to which one is for Cathy and which one is for Mr E . . . I’ll let them decide.