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).

“Modes & Travaux” magazine – a new discovery

I have just recently discovered a French crafting magazine: “Modes & Travaux”!  The magazine was first published way back in 1919, so I’m only 101 years behind the times, but hey ho!  The reason I suddenly made this discovery is doll-related so more of that over on my other blog Claire’s Collections.  But here, I will be mentioning M&T magazine from time to time, as dolls only play a very small part.

Anyway, this French magazine, which first began in 1919, was originally all about fashion and tips for the “modern housewife”. Putting things in their historical context:  the First World War was only just over and women were mainly stay-at-home housewives/mothers, looking to stretch the monthly budget as far as possible, and embracing home-sewing or knitting to make clothes for the family.

In March 1951, the magazine brought out a new monthly page aimed at little girls, with a special M&T doll that could be bought naked, and patterns for dolls clothes being available each month for little girls to learn to sew & knit.

Again, putting things in their historical context:  money was tight, the country was once again recovering from a World War and, while many women were now going out to work, many still were stay-at-home mums, and seeking to save money by making their own clothes.  Domestic sewing machines were becoming more affordable, and home-sewing was all the rage.

The magazine has evolved with the changing times, of course, but today, content is still very much crafting/cooking/gardening/DIYing inspired.  When  I discovered the magazine is still going strong I decided to take out an annual subscription.  For subscribers, the magazine comes with not one, not two, but THREE sewing patterns each month, plus an embroidery/xstitch pattern, knitting patterns, transformation ideas and much much more.

I thought I’d give one of the patterns a go

Not exactly a frequent dress-wearer, I cut out the skirt part slightly shorter as I’d much prefer a long tunic to a short dress.  As always, when trying a new pattern, I was somewhat loathe to cut into some of my pretty fabrics in case it went completely wrong  Pattern says to use viscose. I didn’t have any  so just dived into the stash of very strange fabrics I inherited from my mother-in-law, in search of something that would drape..  So far, my sewing looks like this

No idea what this fabric is made of – it’s all slippy, silky and consequently very difficult to handle.  The print also looks like something out of a completely different era and I’m slightly worried it’s going to make me look like a clown (all those spots make me think of party balloons) but I’m getting to grips with the pattern. For the moment my big problem is with the knotted shoulders.  That is the main feature of this garment but somehow those knots just make it feel as if the garment isn’t finished properly.  I’m therefore busy thinking of a way to attach shoulders differently, at this late stage.


ScrapHappy # June

It’s ScrapHappy day again!  Time to link with Gun, Kate and a whole gang of other crafters (all links further down), to share what we’ve been making with scraps.

I’d had wind of a couple of births in my neighbourhood, so it seemed like a good idea to make a couple of presents to welcome new babies into the world.  Nothing elaborate. Just something soft & bright.

The teething bits are brand new but fabrics & wadding are scraps.  Lots of souvenirs of past projects in these!

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

a bit of this & that

I’ve been doing a bit of this & that of late. Some sewing, some patchworking and some crochet.  Sometimes though, we are sent a little sign to say: it’s time to take a break.  This was mine.

Duh!!! I put first sleeve in no problem.  Must have started feeling cocky when I did the second one.  A sure sign it’s time to put down tools and find something else to do for a while.  So I had a cat-hunt wondering what our three cats were up to.  Abby wasn’t hard to find since she’d been keeping me company while I messed up that sleeve.

Le Bleu wasn’t far away either . . . he was in our bedroom, just waiting to strike a pose.

As for Ducky . . . he was fast asleep in the veranda.

and, while I tried to be quiet, and didn’t use the flash, I managed to wake him up.  Sorry Ducky!

Anyway . . . after that quick feline photo session and a fresh mug of coffe, I did head back to my sewing room to unpick the offending sleeve and finish off the Tshirt.  If you want to see how it turned out, you can click here: Claire’s Collections.