Friday, 25 June 2010

Jersey Knit Tree Skirt

Wow. Jersey knit where have you been all my life? so easy to sew ( no hems required!), falls very forgivingly (no straight seams here) and is so cool (for the three weeks of Summer in the UK).
I'm always super daunted by sewing clothes and the odd times i have end up being a bit hit and miss. Taking into account how easily bored I get with a project and they tend to be a hodge podge of whatever i thought of originally and every idea that came along the same day.
But since my house groans with soft furnishings it seems the next logical thing. Also- I want to become a more technically proficient seamstress and it seams that this either comes from quilting or garments. Now quilting is unlikely for a while since that much measuring does not appeal. And they're big- which my tiny house will not allow. I need to be able to pack it all away at a moments notice. And my aunt is a super quilter which is intimidating.

So I made a skirt. not too complex. But exactly what I wanted.
The ruffle is my favourite part and was so easy to do- no more gathering by hand for me. I saw a comment on another blog which mentioned just loosely holding the top thread of your sewing machine as you go. The extra tension ruffles perfectly- no more tugging and straining!
Hmmmm. Bum shot.

Oooops! you can see my the toll my lunch had on the skirt. The trees were a cardboard stamp I cut out with a pair of scissors (after spending about an hour with my craft knife- only to have a light bulb moment and remembering that cardboard is most often cut with scissors, quicker and so much easier! I've lost so many crafting hours to dumb time wasters like this....). Then some stamping with diluted white acrylic, then grey and then finally the red tree. I didn't feel like going out to buy fabric paint and since acrylic almost never comes off (i did a tester, just in case) I just used what I had.
Painting on clothes and fabric is a great way to reuse or customise them and I'm hoping to have the inspiration to do more of it. The tutorial for making the skirt was clear and easy so I send many thanks to cluck cluck sew and I am, as always, in love with the internest for giving me so many free resources. Happy painting!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Even goths need pot holders

How true. Its is a sad goth that bedecks their house in shades of black but has to settle for pot holders with puppies and fruit. To this end I purchased some ludicrously expensive day of the dead fabric and made some potholders. Not the most challenging of projects (although that bias binding is a fiend) but quite satisfying.

Monday, 7 June 2010

A Frenzy of Soft Toys No.1

I have no idea why making soft toys fascinates me so. And why I apparently do not like making the same one twice. Part of the thoughts that create these little things definitely involves cartoon thoughts. This is (according to the man) how i live my life and I have to agree when I'm feeling particularly self aware. Cartoons are amazing for distilling the essence of a thing. The details are sometimes blown up to be the main aspect and sometimes details are merged. A quick look at the owls above will convince you- these have no head or legs but even small child knows it to be an owl.
I'm sure some art major student could tell me all about this but for the moment I am content to try to distill until I'm drunk on the results.
This is Sock Pup:

Two super soft socks from my local Help the Aged charity store and a teeny bit of an old work shirt. oh. and some felt for around his black button eyes. I had never heard of sock animals before Craftster but am in love. They're so easy and soft!
Bum shot!
Because this may be my favourite part!

Next is Scrap Cat:
Made for a new born (lets just be honest- her mum!) the kitty skin was first made buy randomly piecing various cotton triangles together then zig zagging over those seams. This turned out way better than I hoped although turning the feet was super difficult and the ears were not really how I pictured them.
Here you can see the face better
Excuse the white background which is crinkled! The sun poked its head out briefly and it was a mad scrabble to catch the light, find a background and source the camera before the British summer reared its rainy head once more! My motto may become "I'm a sewer not an ironner", if ironner is even a word. Which it probably isn't since its been underlined in my text editor. damn. I'm not an ironner or a speller....

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Another day, another Owl

This is what too many craft boards gets you. A craving to make something that you never would have considered before. An unbearable desire to craft a theme that would not have crossed my tiny brain without the constant highlighting of their charms by the numerous swappers, crafters and bloggers that I visit for inspiration and just plain masochism as I writhe with the knowledge that I shall not be able to live up to their crafty standards.

For you delection my small collection of Owly flavoured stuffs:
First- some golf ball sized Christmas ornaments for my mother that could fit into someones hand luggage to lug all the way back home to SA. The bodies are spheres of double yarn crochet and the rest is felt. Quick and cute.
Second- these were inspired by the Toy Society Drop idea (link to right) to leave toys scattered about to be found by a child and bring them a moment of joy. I'm still working up the courage to go through with this but am besotted with the idea. What if the child hates it, what if the toy gets tortured (I never really got over my brother punching my dolls to make me wanna kill him!), what if it is just abandoned? One day I'll grow up, i know. One day I'll stop falling in love with toys and weird plastic trinkets and be an adult who realises they aren't real. One day.
For now, the pics

You know, because owls hang from branches, they don't sit on them. Don't be ridiculous.
Lets all hope that owls are out my system now. The world simply does not need more crafted owls.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Jump right in

So I need to just start. Else the feeling of inadequacy and shame that I have been convinced to start a blog will force me to implode. Also (coincidentally) I have to stay up to 1am to fetch the husband on the milk train from London. The two are not unrelated.

I think I shall start with some little elephants which started the current flurry of craftiness.
The grey one was thrifted from some old trousers which no longer fit (not in a good way) and was a total guess from start to finish. I couldn't be bothered to do fancy ears for him so I just singed the edges of the fabric. This was a mistake as they are scratchy and a bit yukky.
I braided some twine for their tails. The lessons learnt helped me when a 1st birthday party came up and I wanted to make a gift.
I gave the little girl the creamy beige one since it most suited her mothers tastes and was asked to make the black one by a friend. And the little pink one was requested by a lady at the birthday party. I had never met her but prefer to believe she wanted the ellie and not just to make friends with me by boosting my crafting ego :). All these little ones were hand sewn but I'm absolutely sure they could be done on a sewing machine. I always thought that animal patterns were daunting but I would seriously encourage you to just go for it! you'd be surprised how easy it is to create a creature.Also I made a simple pattern idea to show you the pieces.
Make a cylinder with a and b. cut 4 of g and 4 of f, use to make open cylinders for feet. cut 4 of e for ears. cut 1 of d and c. by sewing purple to purple, red to red etc start from forehead of elephant and work outwards. (ie red and purple bits first). When reach uncoloured seams on piece d sew trunk (light blue) sections of trunk into tube that seals closed with this tip of d. Stuff all bits and attach to each other.

If you require more detailed instructions I'd be more than willing. Leave a message below but since its waaaaay past my bedtime. goodnight for the first time :)

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