Welcome to my 'other blog' the one that explores my crafty side. I have been a maker of 'things' since childhood. By nature I'm creative. I still love to write, and you can click on this link to visit my blog: Hanging On My Word, which is where I indulge in the thought and word side. Although a teacher by profession, I don't offer tutorials. This is my showcase of projects I like to share. So pull aside the curtains and let's begin (I'm a bit theatrical too!).

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

From The Heart

I decided it was time to pull out the sewing patterns I’d stashed away for the twins, and actually make something! If I didn’t get cracking they’d have grown too big. I found this sundress, which I love, and the shirt pattern.
I had some pink gingham and blue gingham cotton polyester and after much playing around with different fabrics for the contrast on the dress, I decided I’d make a pink dress and headscarf, and a blue shirt  (yes, back to the old blue for a boy theme again), but I’d use the blue gingham as the contrast fabric for hearts on the dress.

Now, the little dress was a dream to make, but I had to re-learn all my old shirt-making skills, and ended up unpicking and re-doing the collar, until I was satisfied. 

Well, I was pretty pleased with the results, though I worried that the shirt was a little short.

After stitching on the hearts, I found some pink satin ribbon and used a decorative machine-stitch to give it a lift.

The shirt has a tiny pink heart on the underside of the collar, not seen by the world at large, but linking the twins heart-to-heart. 

They fit! Great relief, when you’re hundreds of miles away and can’t try them on during the making process. I was right about the shirt though. next time I’ll make it longer. But if you want to see how  overcame the problem of children growing out of garments too quickly, see ‘Adding and Extension’.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Hello Dolly

Perhaps the subtitle should be: "I'm ready for my close-up", as not only have more old photos of 'Susie 1' surfaced from the archives, but today I received an update from my daughter by e-mail. Here she is in 1987 in the arms of my daughter's friend. My daughter, in her turn, is holding Nicholas, who was MY plaything at her age. He is a Roddy doll, from approximately 1960, and has now been passed on to my daughter-in-law for safekeeping for the grandchildren.

Susie aged 10
These photos are from c1987 and here she is on a picnic at the bottom of the garden accompanying, among others, dear-departed Pink Bunny (see Easter Expectations in my other blog).

Susie on a picnic with Pink Bunny
And here is the original Susie in her Spring makeover. I couldn't believe it when this photo arrived today. I asked my daughter if she'd been reading my latest blog. She hadn't and it was purely co-incidental that she'd dressed Susie in her own angel top from 34 years ago. My daughter reminded me that I'd made the bee Susie is holding too. You can see that my daughter, who is in retail management in London, also has a flair for setting the scene. See also ‘Dolled Up’ and ‘If You Knew Susie Like My New Susie’ along with 'Hair Today' which chart the project’s progress and 'On First Getting Hooked' where you can see the angel top below being modelled by my daughter as a baby, thirty-four years ago.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

On First Getting Hooked

I was first introduced to crochet at my Grandmother's knee. She worked very fine crochet with small hooks and produced table runners and dressing table sets of gossamer quality. She learned from her own mother, who was a child in the 1870's, and who probably learned from her mother in turn. My Great-grandma had ten children, six of them girls, and my Gran would tell me tales of how her mother used to make their clothes, including undergarments, which were all edged with hand-crocheted lace. No mod-cons in those days, so I wonder how she found time to execute such fine work.

My own mother is a wonderful knitter and although she has crocheted in the past, she is lost these days without a knitting project. At 90 years old, as you will have read in previous posts, I'm still giving her projects to do.

I dug out my crochet hooks when I was expecting my daughter in 1977. There was no internet, and my Grandmother was quite poorly (in fact she passed away when my daughter was five days old), so I couldn't seek advice. Books from the local library, and a couple of pamphlets and other magazine specials, were all I had for reference. There wasn't the plethora of publications that we see today in newsagents and booksellers. I was so content to be able to produce this hooded shawl as my first attempt.

Look at the price of the pattern: 11 pence
I think that would be called vintage now.

I was quite pleased with myself so decided to make an 'angel top'. That's what you dressed babies in in the 1970's. Those and babygrows (wonderful invention). It was quite a challenge and I'm sure it was full of mistakes, but my daughter didn't mind, and she really did look angelic wearing it.  When my son was born in 1979 he had a blue version. I waited until he'd arrived to get the colour right. Yes, again in those days we did do a lot of pink for girls, blue for boys. I found it harder; probably because my brain was still full of pregnancy hormones, but I persisted, and here they both are modelling their respective tops. My daughter s angel top also appears in the post 'Hello Dolly', where it can be seen still in pristine condition 34 years later.

Maternal Grandparents admire my handiwork - and the angel top!
Paternal Grandma only has eyes for the latest grandson - who could blame her?

Maternal grandparents again - grandson demonstrating his 'startle reflex' beautifully. Clearly overwhelmed by his Mama's latest creation and the bright blue colour!

So, with a break of twenty-nine years I completely forgot how difficult I'd found the second one and decided I'd make TWO, for my twin grandchildren. I chose cream this time and got going. Well, as my now three-year old granddaughter would say, "I did it!"
Considering the problems I'd had in the 70's this was quite a feat - as my brain was now nearly thirty years older!  
It's a matter of choice whether it was worn with buttons down the back or the front.

My Mum again  - showing that she hasn't lost the knack of holding a baby.