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!).

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Stress Dress

Another sundress, and this time made from a Cynthia Rowley pattern which came free with the September 2011 issue of Sew Magazine.

I liked what I saw in the magazine and at first wasn't daunted by sewing in stretch fabric. I'd done it before after all. This project turned out to be one of my most unloved. The combination of an invisible zip and very fine stretch fabric nearly drove me to distraction. Well, it's finished now, but I won't be using the pattern again. Nice dress, shame about the stress.

Linking to Lakota's Ta-Dah! Tuesday (only two days late) over at Faith, Hope and Charity Shopping

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Chirpy Chicks

I thought I'd get ahead with some small craft projects for Easter. Last year it passed me by without me making these Easter Chicks. I've had the pattern for ages as it was given to me by my Mum, who found them in her 'Yours' Magazine.

The chicks have a secret, as they are big enough to conceal a creme egg. I used a real one to demonstrate, which also shows of course that they make neat little egg cosies if you like your breakfast eggs boiled.

I like to make things whilst watching television in the evening. The trouble is I sometimes lose concentration and make a mistake. With something so small and practical I don't bother unpicking it. (See 'A Mistake is an Unpicking Opportunity') They're ideal for using up any oddments of yarn too. I made the nest from some strange bits of brown fabric/yarn I had. I thought they deserved one each.

I think I like them better than the ones in my Easter Eggstra post from two years ago, but which do you prefer?

I'm updating this post after the Easter break, so that I can show some pictures of how the chicks were received by the twins.  I made an extra one for a friend's granddaughter and although she was shy I could tell she was pleased. Her Mum, pictured with her, reported that she loves it.

My own granddaughter looks serious in this photo, but there was much fun to be had at the Easter party too.

My grandson thinks there's room for both chicks in one nest!

I was delighted to see that my granddaughter was wearing the jumper I crocheted for her last more than a year ago in 'Two For The Price of One', and it shows how much she's grown!

There's also a story attached to my grandson's blue bunny, originally made for his Daddy 33 years ago and still treasured. You can read that story in 'A Makeover For Blue Bunny'.

Find more of my Easter craft posts on They Don’t Grow on Trees and Easter Eggstra.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

It's a Hoot!

This is my version of the patchwork owl cushion which featured in the January edition of Sew magazine, issue 43. I've never mastered patchwork but the pattern appealed to me. The owl is '3D'; he's lightly stuffed before being sewn onto the square of fabric at the centre of the cushion. I won't pretend I found this project easy, but it was satisfying. I didn't enjoy making the zig-zag 'feathers' and would probably adapt the pattern, making them larger and easier to turn; all those points to poke out with a knitting needle!

I had fun choosing the range of colours as I had a home in mind for it. Some of it I didn't get right as I thought I'd got the little Dutch children the same way up as Mr Owl - never mind. I measured those squares so carefully, but still found myself doing more 'easing' than I probably should have - so don't look too closely. As you can see from the magazine article, the owls can be made separately as soft toys or decorations. They can also be sized up using a photocopier, so you could make a whole family of them.

Corinne Bradd's design uses diamante buttons for the eyes but I sorted through my stash and found plainer ones, which I preferred. I also thought blanket stitch around each eye and a little stem stitch to accentuated the natural lines in the fabric I chose.

I decided not to uses double running stitches across each row of feathers, and just neatly machine stitched them in place instead.

He was finished just as an old friend came to stay, and it was only as I was showing him off that we realised that I seem to have used some vintage fabric that had a special meaning for us both. Unless I'm mistaken, that dusky pink with cream flowers is Laura Ashley from 1978, the year I was a 'bridesmaid' (although I was aleady married, so I was a 'matron' strictly speaking) for my friend. Both her attendants made their own dresses from the fabric, to a style of their own choosing. In those days you got as much wear as you could out of the clothes you made. Mine proved very useful too over the coming year, as the style hid my bump. My son was born nine months later. My friend had been my bridesmaid in 1975 and we wondered if she had any of her own fabric from that dress left over. The other bridesmaid was also my bridesmaid, and again the fabric was Laura Ashley. I hope she finds some for the next owl!

Linking this post with Lakota's Ta-dah! Tuesday on Faith, Hope and Charity Shopping.