Monday, February 20, 2012

We're picking up momentum at Mummy Mondays and all are welcome to join us, especially you beginners who've made nothing more than a Pinboard of crafty dreams over on Pinterest.

Pearl is getting creative with patchwork, cushions and starting on quilts!  I'm working on a few things for a baby on the way (last month it was a travel changing wallet and pad).  We love seeing what comes in and out the doors on Monday nights that other mums are working on and being creative with.

There's no project too small.  More often than not we show up not yet knowing what we'll make that night.  It always comes together though and we leave a little more productive and still relaxed than we came.  Come, check it out, join us some time!

Pearl spotted these adorable apple pincushions from Mollie Makes magazine and this month we're going to give them a quick try together to get us started and get the creative juices flowing.  There's scraps a plenty, so just show up and make one with us.

Hope to see you Monday at The Makery!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mummy Monday - sewing in the new year!

1. Patchwork Pencil case from blog A Spoonful of Sugar
2. Rounded and embellished zipper pouch from blog Make it and Love it
3. Tied with a bow pouch from blog Ucreate

I can't believe it's been so long! We haven't been blogging, but we have still kept on with a bit of sewing.  I found out in early September that I was not in fact Anemic as I was beginning to have suspicions of, but I was actually pregnant again.  The exaustion tested me beyond my bearing and won.  I napped almost every chance I got and went to bed straight after dinner through the entirety of the first trimester.  I resigned early on to wave any expectations of productivity or creativity and just survive and keep up with parenting Liam.  I felt less than human after three months of that and was so pleased when I could feel my energy returning at about 15 weeks or so.

We were still meeting up for Mummy Mondays, though, and having a lovely time together!  I've been very thankful for that once a month push to dust off the craft table and do something creative and I'm really looking forward to more in 2012!

At our last Mummy Monday for 2011 in November, Kate helped me with a project I had chosen to make for Christmas presents, zipper pouches with bows on the front (like the one pictured above).  I was then able to make about a dozen more, so I'm paying the favour forward this month at Mummy Monday if anyone fancies a new bag to help start this year with even more pretty organisation than the last.

Bring some fabric with you if you want or you can buy a bit there on the night.  We'll leave the zippers out and make a slightly more simple bag on the night.

You are always welcome to bring a project of your choice.  We really want it to be a time for you to work on your own projects, but sometimes we're out of time or energy to get organised but still want to come so every month, just in case, we'll offer a heads up on what we're making (Pearl, Kate or I) and you can work along side us if you want.

If the pictures at the top serve as some inspiration they all have links to tutorials, so feel free to print instructions and bring them with you if you've got your sights set on one.

Hope to see you at The Makery this month!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dates for Mummy Monday

We are small but fun and very happy for more to join us.

We had a 'soft launch' back in July and our 'official' launch in September and we're going to keep it going. Not sure if it's for the chats, tea and yummy homemade cakes or for the crafting, but either way it makes for a really lovely night out with mums!

The plan is to meet the last Monday of every month (where there's not a conflict). So, the dates for your diary look like this:

October 24th (1 week before Halloween)
November 28th (last one for the year)
December is just too crazy for us all. Enjoy the shopping and extra partying!!

January 30th
February 27th
March 26th
April 30th
May 28th
June 25th
July 30th

Come this Monday and bring along last minute halloween costumes to finish up for the kiddos or get an early start on some homemade Christmas decorations, presents or even cards. 

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Mummy Monday official launch with Baby Cakes and Mollie Makes ....

We are hugely grateful to Hannah Wiltshire of Babycakes, Jane Toft of Mollie Makes and of course Kate Smith and The Makery for helping us with our launch night in September.

Hannah's cupcakes were delicious (and made very short work of), and one lucky mummy walked away with a years subscription to Mollie Makes!

Thanks to all the lovely mummies who gave up a monday night to come along and make with us, we'll see you again soon hopefully!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sweet and easy girls dress

I feel sure if I had a little girl I would be more inspired to be making clothes all the time, but little boys don't present quite the same opportunity. So, visiting friends with a 4 week old baby girl was a perfect excuse to make a crafty present.

I used a pattern from the blog smashed peas and carrots for a simple pinafore dress. I don't have a printer, so I couldn't print out the PDF provided but I improvised with some greaseproof paper, copying the shapes as best I could and using one of the boys babygros as a general size template. This worked surprising well. (As an aside I use greaseproof paper a lot to trace patterns rather than cutting as its cheaper than specialist fabric tracing paper).

The nicest thing about the pinafore is that its reversible. I have matching fabric, one side pink with blue dots, the other blue with pink dots. As you can see from the boys modelling (sorry boy) I sized it to be a tunic top for an older baby and a dress for a younger baby (this was completely by accident, not inital design!).

I have to say this is really good beginners project, no fiddly hemming or anything. You just sew the pieces together, turn it right side out and then top sew the opening closed.

However, I still went wrong multiple times, forgetting my settings on the sewing machine, so I used a straight stitch with a zig zag thread tension setting, which left the stitches feeling really coarse, and even dissolved when I ironed it. So I spent double the time I probably needed to on the project redoing everything. I think it ended up taking 3-4 hours from start to finish... I'm not sure if this is good or bad.

The dress has 4 buttons. I don't have a buttonhole foot for my machine so I took smashed peas tutorial recommendation for hand stitching, and it looked fine (if you have the buttonhole foot I would definitely use that over hand sewing though).

I made a foolish error of sewing the buttons on too tight, not leaving any room to actually make them functional. If you feel inspired to make this dress I recommend attaching the buttons loosely and then winding thread between the button and the fabric to make the button stick out by a few milimeteters.

Give it a go and let us know how you get on, or let us know of any good tutorials for boys clothes.

The Power of Making

Opening today at the V&A is a new exhibition 'The Power of Making', a collection of 100 crafted objects - some professional, some amateur.

Crochetdermy bear - Scary/Cute?

In the exhibition blurb is something very apt for those of us learning as we go "at every stage in the learning process, a maker’s relationship to materials and tools changes dramatically. What may at first have been frustrating becomes pleasurable... Advanced skills may take a long time to learn, but the feeling of being ‘in the zone’ can be experienced by anyone – from a four-year-old to a master artisan".
Not sure I'm in the zone yet, but I am now so much more comfortable with my sewing machine than I was just a few months ago (unfamiliar machines still strike terror into my heart).

The exhibition also contains some truly inspirational and subversive cross-stitch, created by POWs in the Second World War. There was a full article in Saturdays Guardian about it all thats worth a read.

The exhibition runs until January.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Beginner camp pep rally

Thanks to Pinterest and the good taste of a friend, I just checked out this beautiful nursery tour. It's the kind of nursery that you actually believe could come together on a small budget with a few DIY projects and lovely hand-made/home-sewn touches to make it look professionally designed.

I took a minute to read through the interview on Ohdeedoh and found this little nugget of 'keep at it/you can do it/we all start somewhere' encouragement at the end:

Did you see the bit that got me? She's 'relatively new at sewing'! There is something special about sharing our beginnings with one another.

Once you've made it, once you're whizzing fabric through sewing machines and cranking out lovely couture pieces, you move into a different class. A hopeful one, but an unrelatable one to those just starting out. You are envied, but your genius is not understood.

The beginner camp is full of both insecurity and optimism and is mostly frustration, cursing and seam ripping, but hopefully also new found laughter at yourself and with others and a swelling of pride, enthusiasm and sheer joy for all that you make along the way.

If you're still in this camp with me, I hope you're still dreaming of where your new creative hobby can take you. Mine's got me working and re-working on an apron right now ; )

Yours in stitches,