Thursday, July 21, 2011

What to make?

I'll start with the disclaimer that for the time being I am very much a practical crafter. I hope to one day tap into my creative side and dream up cute things to make, but for now I'm working off of a list of things we could use around the house that other people have cleverly made for me to easily copy. Thank you other people, for sharing your beautiful work and tutorials!

I'm sharing my list since there might be something you fancy making as well and I can save you the time by linking to the tutorial. Have a read through a tutorial, copy down the materials needed and you're ready to join us on Monday armed with a project you're excited about.

Add to the list by linking to a project you're excited about in the comments section so the ideas can grow.

Looking forward to making with you this Monday!


First things first - I need a proper pincushion. Taking your pins in and out of the little container they came wrapped in lacks a certain charm. It's like a tea party with your electric kettle instead of a cute tea pot. It's a little thing, but it indulges the senses. My pick of the moment (going along with the tea party theme) is the teacup pincushion. This picture and tutorial is from Larissa of mmmcrafts.

I'm forever going through plastic sandwich bags taking food on the go for Liam, and have this guilty feeling about creating such constant waste. It's time to come up with a different solution. I think I'll start with this little sandwich cozy that serves as a placemat too. This picture and tutorial is from Maggie of smashed peas and carrots.

I just bought some lavender from Scrapiana at the It's Darling Fair! last Saturday and I'm keen to make feel-good little somethings with that! These sweet little winter warmers (picture and tutorial) were found at A Spoonful of Sugar. Or this ever-so-clever lavender tea bag from Mademoiselle Chaos.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Come to the first Craft Night Out for mums!

We're very excited to invite you all to a crafty night out for mums.
It's being held at the fabulous and gorgeous The Makery in Walcot Street.

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro come along to meet and make with us!

Bring a project you've wanted to finish for ages, or a project you want to start.
If you're looking for inspiration we'll have a few ideas on the night.

Whether its sewing, knitting, drawing ... anything creative, come along and join us.

Feel free to bring your own project supplies with you or purchase fabric from The Makery on the night.

Monday 25th July, 7-9 p.m.

Just £5 for an evening of craft time (with no interruptions!).
Use of the Makery equipment included. And, of course, a cuppa' tea or coffee and homemade treats.

Looking forward to meeting you there,

Pearl and Summer

Saturday, July 9, 2011

dressing gown ... housecoat

My first major project is done... I still can't quite believe it.
I bought this fabric back in October, so its taken a long time! I found this lovely Liberty print (claire aude tana lawn) on Ebay in order to make a dressing gown. I thought I would invent a pattern - how hard could it be I thought, but ended up buying a 1970s pattern for 99p on Ebay as well. Instead of using a pattern, a good idea a friend suggested would be to use an actual garment (maybe something you find in a charity shop) in order to take it apart to use as a template.

As this was my first attempt at anything other than a straightforward square cushion I made a trial run using cheap sheeting fabric, but it didn't really work properly and there was a piece (the back neck fitting) that I couldn't figure out how to attach. The pattern was really difficult to decipher and I had to run back and forth between my sewing machine and my laptop doing research at every stage before I felt ready to actually stitch.

Because the fabric is so beautiful it took me a long time to get up the nerve to cut into it. The most important thing I learnt was about fabric grain (something that doesn't really matter with cushions). The pattern called for the pieces to be cut along the long grain (the grain that goes along the adjustable length of the fabric). However, I only had 2.5m of fabric and the pattern called for around 4m if cut on that grain. I read online that you can also cut on the cross grain (the grain along the fabric from top to bottom that doesn't change length). Because the fabric is so busy I don't really think you can tell if there is a 'correct' way round on the pattern itself, but I did manage to cut the lapels on the long grain. I think its turned out really well, but if it all goes wrong when I wash it for the first time I'll let you know.
Its been my introduction to finishing seams, darts, interlining, hems and just about everything else. Its not perfect, but its pretty good and as a beginner I'm so pleased with it.

I improvised on buying a matching colour plain fabric for the detailing on the belt, cuffs and hem which wasn't on the original pattern. Without those I think it would be too much for the eye ... in hindsight I would add a plain strip along the lapels as well.

I managed to attach the back neck facing, but I didn't understand the pattern instructions no matter how long I kept reading them and googling so its definitely wrong, but no-one sees that bit when its on, so I'm going to live with that. However, I'm planning to make another one as a gift so I'll need to figure this out at some point.

So, I now feel more glamorous for my bleary 5.30 daily wake up call with A. However, I concede I may look like an extra from Coronation Street as it looks quite like a 1950s housecoat!