scraphappy # November

It’s time to link up with the world-wide group of Scrapsters

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy,
Jill, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera,
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Carol,
Preeti, DebbieroseNóilin and Viv

and chat about scraps.  My scrappy project for this month began as a “make do and mend” project.  Mrs Tattoo had a linen shirt (Zara, no less) that had a rip on the sleeve (possibly because she didn’t undo the button loopy thing before washing). In following photos, some are taken with flash and some without so fabric colour looks totally different. In real life it’s a sort of light denim blue.

Anyway, Mrs T asked me if I wanted the shirt to cut up for something else. I’m not a fan of sewing with linen, but I suggested I could start by saving the shirt.  Which I did (sleeves are even, I promise).

I then had two leftover bits,

which, theoretically became scraps.  Had a quick think about what to do with them and something for dolls sprang to mind . . . so that’s what I did.

Using one leftover sleeve, and both the strap bits.  A little bit of contrast embroidery along the cuff seam and a sleeve seam.  A navy blue button from my stash. And hey presto.  One made-to-measure linen dress for a 44cm Syliva Natterer doll.  And . . .

I’ve still got these scraps left.

another un-birthday (and more)

It’s just as well we don’t grow another year older each time we celebrate an un-birthday, because I had a second unbirthday celebration in September.  Thanks to Angèle, the second time with more lovely gifts.

Angèle sent me a denim tote bag, that she embroidered with cherry blossom, two pieces of fabric, 2 skeins of embroidery thread (the white DMC one is a “glow in the dark”), a pretty card, and a pins badge.

So a big “merci” to Angèle for all those lovely goodies!

I feel very spoilt, and I’m not the only one!  Ziva has got more toys than she knows what to do with now after I had a quick sewing session.

Using a couple of fluffy dusters, some ribbons & rick rack, toy stuffing and “cat grass”, I made some very simple toys for her to chase around and practice her hunting skills on.  I didn’t even try to make them look like mice, or anything, just sewed pouches & stuffed.   We’ve got cat toys galore in the house already but Ziva tends to lose them under the furniture.  Hopefully these new ones should be bright enough to spot easily.  She enjoys playing with them already, throwing them up in the air, carrying them around in her mouth.

And when not sewing cat toys, I managed to sit down and finish the back of my poncho.  Which has gone from this

to this

Now to cast on and knit the front which will be more interesting, since this will be my first ever cable project. Just a band of cable up the front centre, like this.

I’m not using the recommended yarn because (as I tend to do) I shopped around on-line looking for alternatives, and am knitting with this. Midway between DK and Aran, but I’m making it work to Aran tension for the purpose of this project.


ScrapHappy # September

It’s been a while since I played with any scraps, but for September, I’m back to join the group

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera,
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear, Carol,
Preeti, EdithDebbierose and Viv

My contribution this time has been re-purposing old Tshirts.  Those that are either too stained,  too full of holes or grown too small (or is it us who have grown too large?).  I do sacrifice the ugly ones to the rag-bag but, others, get washed, folded and kept for something else.  Well, the something else for September is doll clothes.  I’m signed up to Pixie Faire, an excellent site for doll-lovers.  Quite often, on a Friday, they send their email with a link to their “freebie Friday”. That can be a clothes making pattern and, when it’s one I fancy, I download.

This was the pattern the other week.  For 18″ AG dolls.  I don’t actually have any of these dolls, but I do have quite a few dolls of similar size.  So . . . special “stretch fabric” needle in Juki, and away I went with my old Tshirts.(doll photos follow)

I began, with an old polo shirt of the husband’s (have more than enough left to make a few more).  Allowed extra length for sleeves & body because I thought doll would need it. Turns it, he didn’t.  The raglan set-in sleeves make the sweatshirt quite roomy and therefore extended sleeves are a bit long.  Not to worry. This was my first attempt. Having fun lining up stripes on fabric, and generally getting to grips with the pattern.

Second attempt for one of my girl dolls.  I cut exactly to pattern and this one is a much better size.  Pattern had said to use sweatshirt/fleece weight fabric, I’m using Tshirt weight, so the cowl collar on this one was rather baggy and I decided it looked better turned folded in half.

And last one, because I still had some scraps of the ladybird fabric to use.

I love the pattern, and I especially loved finally finding a use for old Tshirt fabric!

never too young

Way way back . . . in 2017, I made some zippy pouches following a pattern in a French magazine.

Above is the magazine, and below, one of  the zippy pouches I made at the time.

More than 5 years later, two more zippy pouches saw the light of day in my sewing room because, our neighbours’ youngest daughter, Mona (4 years and 11 months) asked if I could teach her how to sew.  Her elder sister (now 12 years old) did some sewing projects with me over the years, and I was only too happy to oblige and have Mona round for some fun with Juki.  We had our first sewing session last week, but I forgot to take photos. During the first session, Mona made a little 5″ cushion which we stuffed with lavender from the garden.  For the second project, she made a zippy monster pouch.

I made one the night before, using some fleece fabric, so I could show Mona exactly what she would making.  And I added buttons for the eyes, but I thought button sewing might be a step too far for a not quite 5 year old.   I managed to stab myself several times with the very sharp sewing needle and didn’t want Mona to stab herself.

We therefore opted for black poppers.


I sewed the zip on, but Mona did all the rest!  A zigzag stitch to attach the white felt for the eyes.  And then 4 lovely straight seams (with the occasional bit of guidance) to sew front to back, and then turn right sides out. One very happy zippy pouch, and one very happy Mona!

retail therapy – craft books

I’ve been having a bit of retail therapy . . . adding a few craft books to my book shelves. It all started when I came across some pretty Waldorf dolls (on etsy) and began looking into the possibility of trying to make my own. However patterns are a bit too expensive, for my liking, and there’s a lot of skill (therefore room for error) in the shaping of a Waldorf doll head . . . so I began leaning towards more traditional rag dolls and stuffed toys.  Found several books that looked interesting and bought three.

“Sewn Toy Treasures” by Sandra Reis.  It’s a David & Charles publication, so nice size and 80 pages.  15 projects inside such as

Templates take up 16 pages of the book.  They’re full size, so easy enough to photo copy.  Lots of lovely photos of the finished toys but sadly only written instructions for the making of.  Would have been helpful to have some photos of the making process.  It’s a nice book, but I’ll only give it 4 stars because of the lack of “step by step” visuals.

Second book is “Sewn Toy Tales” by Melly & Me. Also a David & Charles publication.  I bought my copy second hand on ebay for only 6€.

126 pages and 12 different designs, including

I bought this one mainly for the “Tilly” ragdoll design.  Again, lots of lovely coloured photos of the finished toys, but no photos of the step by step process.  Only written instructions.  Another negative:  templates need to be enlarged by 200% which is do-able, if you have a printer like mine, but full-size templates would have been preferable.  I’ll give this book 3 stars.

Third book “Happy Quilts” by Antonie Alexander. Published by Interweave.  140 pages containing 10 quilt projects AND coordinating soft toys.

There are no templates in the book. Instead, there’s an internet link to download the pdf (which I’ve done, and saved to my hard drive). The pdf is over 200 pages and contains all templates, full size, for the different patchwork blocks and soft toys.  Coloured photos of the finished items, but also lots of coloured pictures to show the various step-by-step processes.  Written instructions too, step by step.  I’m giving this book 5 stars.  The photos and step by step illustrations make each project look fun to make. I’m not a patchwork appliqué fan, but I reckon this book could convert me and make me want to try.

needed new pjs

Before I begin about pjs . . . a quick update on Gibbs. He went in for surgery on Tuesday 24th May.  The grey mass  was removed and he also underwent a TECABO (total ear canal ablation and lateral bulla osteotomy). Yes, it’s as serious as it sounds and is only done as last ressort surgery.  Anyhow . . . Gibbs came through surgery okay. We picked him up on the Wednesday evening.  He looks a sorry sight:  shaved ear, shaved face, droopy eye, lop-sided head . . . and having to wear the cone of shame for 2 weeks until the stitches come out.   He’s got lots of meds to take.  Biopsy results should take around 10 days.   I’m thinking I might have to make him an eye patch for when the cone comes off.  Facial paralysis (which is permanent) means he can’t blink/shut left eyelid . . . which means he’ll be prone to hurting/scratching his eye in future when walking in long grasses, etc.

In the meantime, I was trying to keep my mind on other things, and distract me from Gibbs’ medical problems  so I did some sewing.   Had been meaning to make myself a couple of new pairs of PJs.  I favour shortie PJs, even in the winter.  I pulled out two well-used patterns: New Look 6871 for the tunic (not really a PJ top but it works for me) and Butterick B4532 for the shorts.

And used two different fabrics I’ve had in my stash for almost 10 years.  Next job is to make myself a couple of day-wear tunics for this summer, using the same pattern. I have the fabric. Just need to find the time.



on a roll

I’d been eyeing up some ideas for storing knitting needles, namely double-pointed needles.  Saw a couple of nice rolls on-line, and used photos as inspiration to design my own.  The nice thing about taking up knitting after having learned how to sew is that something like a needle roll is a very quick & simple project.

It was a stash-busting project.   Using a couple of small pieces of cotton print from the drawer.  Finished size when rolled is 10″ x 3″ and approx 1″ thick, so it’s not too bulky.  It’s for my 20cm DPNs.

The husband came up with an idea, when I was unrolling to show him my finished project (and needles almost fell out onto the floor – you’ll see why later) so I added a couple of poppers to the finished pouch.

When unrolled, it looks like this

And the poppers, on either end of the flap stop needles from sliding out if I hold the thing upside down.

I made 8 little pockets, for 7 sets of DPNs and a wider pocket for my needle gauge.  I don’t actually have a set of 2mm needles in 20cm yet, but thought it was sensible to provide a pocket in the eventuality I need to buy some. My sewing machine has embroidery options, but no decimal point.  However, the numbers embroidered are good enough for me to know which needles should go in which pocket.

In case you’re wondering whether I’ve been doing any knitting of late . . . yes I have!


repurposing curtains

I’ve been doing a huge amount of Spring cleaning and sorting in our house, and one of the jobs was having a tidy up in the veranda.  The covers I’d made for bench seats several years ago had faded because of the sun, so I had a rummage in my fabric stash to find something suitable.

I came across two floral curtains (approx 135cm x 190cm each) that came either from MIL or SIL’s home, not sure, but they definitely weren’t mine.  They really are very flowery, but the fabric is lovely quality and I hope it stands up to direct sunlight better than the cottons I previously used.  Anyway . . . I had a measure up of what I wanted to make covers for, including two old chair seats, that have been covered countless times in the past.

These were the chair seats in question.  Disgusting!!!!!  But no longer!  I pulled all the old staples out binning the grotty fabric.  And after playing with the staple gun, they look like this.

What a difference!

So, those two chairs all pretty!  Then I made two square covers for two folding chairs (photo of just one here).

More measuring & slicing went on as I had 3 rectangular foam cushions to cover, that go on the bench seats.

And just enough left over to make a quick cushion cover and add a bit more floral to my grotty old armchair that also lives in the veranda, and doesn’t match anything.



stash-busting bag

I didn’t send out any un-birthday gifts this month, but I did have need of a special home-made something.  We were invited to new neighbours’ house for dinner, and I never like to turn up empty handed.  So . . . time for some stash busting.

Not actually sure how long I’d had this fabric, nor who gifted it to me but . . . in my drawer I had two printed cushion panels.  The band with smaller prints was actually a vertical band down the side of each panel.  For bag purposes, I sliced it off and sewed it along the top.

I didn’t have any dark grey fabric, like on the original panels, so I made straps in plain black.

I also attached a small strip of black and a button so the bag can be rolled up, but forgot to take a photo.  Anyway, the bag was well-received and dinner was yummy!

with this ring

Today I can reveal the top secret project I was working on last month because, our daughter (aka Lindashee) and partner tied the knot and my little fabric gift was part of the ceremony.

I made them a little ring cushion (respecting the chosen colour palette of ivory, blues & gold) – here the cushion before posting, so NOT with the official rings tied in place.  And, because the husband and I had trouble finding a wedding card we liked in the shops, I made a card.

Due to Covid, and continuing travel restrictions, we did not make the journey over to England.  You can imagine our frustration!  Not being there to hug our daughter or be beside her on the big day!  However, we were able to follow the ceremony thanks to one of the groom’s family who was in charge of filming and live-streaming . . . and our son, Mr Viking, who recorded the live-streaming for posterity.