such a dashing dog!

I know I’m biaised . . . but when I show you the following photos, I think you’ll all agree, Gibbs is one dashing dog!

First up . . . a reminder of what he looked like as a pup.  Here, aged 4 months, sporting a bandana made for him by Lynn.

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Lynn makes and sells bandanas and collars for dogs in her etsy shop ouafouaf and donates 50% of profits to Twilight, a retirement home for dogs.  Twilight is run by volunteers and financed by donations.

Anyway . . . now that Gibbs is all grown up and less likely to chew on things hanging around his neck, he’s been wearing his bandana recently

Gibbs bandana original 

. . . slightly hidden under all that fur and neck!  But it’s a bit Christmasy for autumn.  So what to do? . . . make a few “every day” ones, is the answer!  I had a good look at the bandana made by Lynn first, and then dived in to make my own. 

bandana back 

I used two different prints for the fronts and the same blue for the back.

Gibbs bandana 01

Gibbs bandana 02

And doesn’t Gibbs look gorgeous?  He’s now almost 14 months old, so he’s finished growing.  Weighs in at 38 kilos and has the most glossy coat and the most adorable character. 

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finish one a month #2 – September

Early in August I boasted that I was going to tackle finishing off my “finished” projects, and attempt to do one a month.  Well September almost came and went without me keeping that resolution . . . almost, but not quite!

I am very pleased to say that I finished not one, but THREE cross stitch projects!  Yep – three in one afternoon.  Not that any of the following took much time to do, it was more a question of just getting down to work.  First of all . . . some framing.  I bought two identical 50cm x 70cm frames a while back for my two Ink Circles cross stitch projects, but had to wait a few weeks for the cardboard mounts to arrive.  I’m not too sure about the colour of my mounts, but there wasn’t a great deal of choice in the shop I went to.  I’ll probably get used to them, the more I see them.

Ink circkes finish 01

So, a drum roll please for a framed “Cirque des Cercles” and matching “Cirque des Triangles”.

ink circles finish 02

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I do have a picture hook on the wall opposite, for “Cirque des Triangles” but wanted to show both together.

And third finished finish . . . a very quick sewing project . . . just adding a zip and using some beige denim from a pair of jeans I cut up which no longer fit.

yarn cats finish 02

yarn cats finish

To make myself a little pouch for my crochet hooks.  I know some people make needle rolls, but I just wanted to whizz up something really quickly to keep all my hooks together in one place.  Not the world’s most creative (or brilliant) sewing, but it’ll do the job.

feathers & sugar skulls

Photo of my latest tunic, which will be going straight in the wardrobe, and won’t be worn until next year.

feather tunic

Made using NewLook 6086 (again) because I needed a pattern with the front piece cut on the fold, so I didn’t have to worry about pattern matching.  A very simple tunic, with slits up both sides.  Only 3 pattern pieces and then binding for neck and armholes.  I’ve still got loads of feather fabric left . . . but never fear, it won’t go to waste!

And, just so my cross stitching followers don’t think I’ve given up on cross stitch of late . . .

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This is the small project I’m currently working on.  “Sugar Skull” a Design Works Craft Inc kit.  It came with 14 count aida, but I’m stitching on 20 count, still in 2 threads, to keep colours very vibrant and have the design stitch up a lot smaller.  On 20 count, skull is going to measure 3.5” x 4.5” (as opposed to 5” x 7”). I’m not really sure what I’m going to do with it when it’s finished . . . I just like the design, which is why I bought it!

“sweet peas” happy dancing

I sometimes wonder if I have my head screwed on properly.  There I was, a few months ago,  knitting when temperatures were high enough to melt ice-cream in seconds . . . and now summer seems to have been and gone, I’m doing some summer sewing!

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I pulled out NewLook 6889, which I used last year to make a long cotton dress (the model on the left) and a smallish piece of lovely floral fabric I bought a while back.  I’m no flower expert, but I think they’re sweet peas.  I didn’t have enough to make a second long dress, and I don’t have the legs to wear a shorter or mini dress . . . so I shortened a little more and have made a long tunic.

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With pockets!

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No attempts at pattern matching I’m afraid, as the floral print is rather busy.  But they’re rather nice, and very roomy and I do like the shaping at the top.

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You can’t see very well in the photo, but I did French seams, so the inside is lovely and neat.  And I did 2 rows of top stitching around neckline, armholes and on hem line.  I think this is the neatest piece of clothes sewing I’ve ever done.

sweet peas 02

Gibbs seems to approve . . . or maybe he’s hoping there’s something (other than hands) in my pockets?

Anyway, even though the weather forecast for the coming days is cool and wet, I’m really pleased I made this tunic.  Autumn is almost here, so it’ll be going in the wardrobe, to wait for next summer.  And . . . I’ve cut pattern pieces in the feather fabric, so another (summer) tunic is in the making.

pencil cases for the new school year

It’s that time of year again . . . summer holidays are coming to an end.  Kids are having to get back into a proper bed-time routine, so they’ll be bright-eyed and bushy tailed when the new school year starts up.  And they’re busily preparing their school bags  making sure they’ve got everything they’ll need in their pencil case.

Which very conveniently brings me to the subject

trousse

Lookee here!  Cléo (7 year old neighbour) came round for another sewing session and this is what she made.  As with our first session, Cléo was allowed to rifle through my stash and choose fabric.  She found a chunky pink zip, so wanted to use that.  We therefore set to work making a pencil case.  I did all the cutting of fabric (this zany print for the outside, wadding and plain white for the lining, and I attached the zip.  But apart from that, Cléo did all the work.  She did some straight-line quilting . . . and then sewed the pencil case front & back together.    I think she did a terrific job, and she can’t wait to go back to school to show this off to her friends and new teacher.

That little sewing session then gave me the incentive, to make a couple more pencil cases the following day.  On this one,  I placed the zip dead centre, but on hind-sight I’m not sure this is such a good idea for a pencil case.

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And one for my 5 year old great nephew . . . with spiders and spider webs.

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I should probably learn to make different styles, rather than just the flat case . . . that’ll be something for me to google and think about for next time.  The advantage of a flat pencil case though is, it’s very easy to send by post.

mend and make do

I don’t know about you, but there is one kind of sewing I hate doing . . . repairs.  I usually put things off as long as possible, and end up with a pile of items waiting, either for buttons, a new hem, or even patching up a hole (that’s a frequent job with my husband’s jeans).  Sometimes I would rather just throw something in the bin, go out shopping, and buy new.  But then the scrooge in me says “Nope” that’s not an option.  I’ve got a sewing machine, I know how to use it, therefore, repairs are not beyond me and it’s best to save money for more fun things (like craft supplies!)

I therefore blocked a couple of hours to do some repairs.  First job – a pair of husband’s shorts (UK English, meaning short trousers he wears out and about, but mainly in the garden).  They’d seen better days, fabric had begun to wear a bit thin and one of the hems ripped off.  My initial reaction was just to rip the other hem off, and have matching legs without hems.  That’s what the younger generation do, isn’t it?  But no, my husband didn’t like that, and fraying fabric annoyed him so he refused to wear them until I did a proper repair job.

Out came some blue binding (totally unco-ordinated but who cares?) and I added binding to both legs, sewing completely under so you can’t actually see the blue.

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The reason I used binding rather than simply making another hem . . . the pockets down the sides and the very thick “jeans” seams”.  I didn’t even bother to match thread, just used what was already loaded on my machine.

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They’re for gardening/walking the dog etc, so as far as I’m concerned, they’ll do.

Next job was cushions.  I buy cheap cushion inserts with polyester stuffing. Usually paying around 4€ per insert.  Not quite sure what happened with the last batch I bought, but the covering (which feels more like paper than fabric) was ripped, meaning stuffing was prone to fall out when changing cushion covers. 

mend and make do 01

I had four which were all like this, so I reckon it must have been a duff batch.    Anyway, I certainly wasn’t going to throw them out since they were relatively new . . . so, out came an old bed sheet and a short while later

mend and make do 02

Four cushions, all with a nice white cotton cover.  And ready to go back into their outer, patchwork, cushion covers!

I even salvaged part of the sheet (one of my late MIL’s, so probably about 30 years old) because it had a band of a blue & white print cotton sewn along the top.

mend and make do 03

Not a fabric I would have paid good money for, but it’s still got plenty of life in it, and I saved a long band about 8 inches x the width of sheet.

Feeling, oh so virtuous, after all of that . . . what did I do?  I went shopping on-line lol.  Heck why not?  I saved 16€ by salavaging the cushion inserts.  I gave a pair of shorts a new lease of life.  I reckon both those jobs deserve a reward!

So . . .

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I ordered this.  Not that I need a beginner’s level in cross stitch, but I was looking for a small butterfly design and rather liked this (cost 6€ including p&p).  And this

sans-titre

I do need a beginner’s level embroidery kit, as I’ve never done any traditional embroidery before.  This one took my fancy because of the bee, and also because it combines embroidery with felt (cost also 6€ including p&p).

I now need to get busy and finish off my current xstitch project: “Yarn Cats” so I can begin one of these when they arrive! 

finish one a month #1 (or unbirthday gift for August).

Early August I shared some photos with you of a whole variety of unfinished projects, some going back 10 years, that are hiding away in my drawers.  And I publicly declared that I needed to give myself a kick up the backside, in order to finish off one a month.

I took an easy option for the first project which was already quilted and cut to a 17” square, destined to become a cushion cover.

2nd cat top

It didn’t take long at all to make the back and sew together.

cat cushion finished front

cat cushion finished back

It finishes up at approx 16” which is a common size for cushion inserts.  And this has been folded up, packaged up, and posted off to a very good friend, Valérie.  Wishing her a happy un-birthday in August.  One F/O down, lots more to go!