Saturday, 27 June 2009

Sewing related injury!

Was just merrily sewing some wipes on the overlocker when there was a big bang. A needle exploded, scattering tiny sharp bits everywhere! Got stabbed in the boob!!!!!! Well, at least it wasn't my eye.

I have cloth wipes now :-) LOTS of them! As soon as I have fished all the pieces of needle out of the machine and replaced it I can finish sewing the rest of them. I think I've done about 35 so far. I'm hoping to stop buying disposable products in an effort to be more eco-friendly. I won't need to buy disposable baby wipes any more. I had stopped buying kitchen roll, but M just bought some. To clean the windows he said. But I think flannel fabric will do a better job. I might make some "un-paper towels" for using in the kitchen. And I think i might make a small stack of cloth napkins for the children to use at the table. Not fancy cloth napkins like you'd get at a restaurant. Probably just some flannel squares to wipe their hands on.

I'm also working on a couple of other projects. Just got some snaps to add to one of them, and one bit to sew onto another.

My new fabric has been held hostage!!! Its at the Parcel Force depot till I pay the customs charge on it. I just paid for shipping of some other fabric today. It worked out at £28. Gulp! That was 6 yards, so it was £4.60ish per yard. I think i paid about $7 a yard - thinking hey, it's dollars, it'll be cheap! But maybe not.

Monday, 15 June 2009


The end of my weeks challenge... and I did nothing! R didn't go to sleep till 10:30pm and I was a bit tired. I did sort through some things that just need a couple of things done to finish them. And I cut out a pattern.

I don't think I did too badly this week. R has a new nappy and outfit and a pair of waterproof trousers for wet days. I've got a new top. And the smocked Ollie outfit is finally finished off (just about 5 years too late!)

I think over the next few days I'll work on finishing off a few more things then move on to some new projects. I'm trying hard to keep my sewing area tidy, clearing up after every project. Sewing goes much faster when you know where everything is and don't have to spend half an hour hunting around for a seam ripper or fabric marker.

I've bought a "few" more things in a couple of fabric co-ops. I can't wait to have a stack of lovely new knits to sew with. I'm also getting some new colours of PUL - greens, orange and some others. Everything moves so slowly in co-op land though, so it might be a while before I get them.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Saturday Sewing

Waterproof trousers - well at least I think they are waterproof. They're made with a nylon fabric. Not very good to work with while you have a baby sleeping next to you! Its very noisy. These needed the crotch seam sewn. I'm not sure why I hadn't done it. I think these were from a Kwik Sew pattern, and are a size T2. They fit Mr Fluff perfectly! I was going to put elastic into the bottom of the legs, but I couldn't find a safety pin to thread the elastic with. I can always do it later.

Its lined with a light weight micro fleece on the top part.

I also finished off a KCK One nappy. It needed sewn together, elastic put in and all the velcro put on. I think I made a mistake with this. I didn't have the original pattern in front of me, so i cut the loop on the outside of the wings to 3 inches. I think it might have been 3.5 inches because it looks a little bit short compared to the others I have. But it doesn't really matter because we don't use the crossover loop anyway. It looks nice and crisp and new. Its nice to have a new nappy to use. I really like the combination of the blue and the black.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

A really bad photo shoot

Yay! It's finished!!! But one of the snaps is squint. And I just noticed a tiny scissor cut in the cuff of the shirt! I'm not sure if it happened while I was trimming the threads or if it was there when I started working on it.

Ignore the little feet in the picture. He was asleep on the bed while I was taking pictures. The arm hole bindings are terrible, and I don't think the front button band is right at the bottom. I couldn't understand the instructions for that so I just did the best I could.

The backs - I put snaps on the back of the shirt too. You were supposed to use buttons, but I was fed up with the project and I just wanted to get it done.

The very unhappy little boy modelling it! Everyone came charging up the stairs and woke him up so he wasn't in a good mood.

E is trying to make him stand up so I could take a picture and he is shouting at her!

Huggles with mama made him feel better!

We swapped the shirt for a t.shirt. It doesn't look so girly and frilly now. (the fabric shelves actually are leaning to one side - not because of all my fabric! It seemed wonky when we built it and it is also on an uneven part of the carpet.)

More huggles with mama!

Oh well, this is about as good a photo as we're going to get.

Tonight I'm not too sure what I'm going to work on. Button holes for a dress maybe. And I found a pair of waterproof trousers that are almost done, and another KCK One nappy that just needs sewn together and elastic put in. Will post pics tomorrow.

Preview of the pesky romper

It is almost done! I took this picture at 12:40 last night.

The only thing that really needs done now is marking the snap placement and putting the snaps on :-) The snaps are supposed to be metal snaps, but I'm going to use the plastic ones that I use on nappies.

R went to bed quite late, but at least he stayed asleep while I was working. He likes to sleep the wrong way up in the bed, and he hates having covers on - which is very annoying!

Friday, 12 June 2009


Nightmare... That baby didn't want to go off to sleep till nearly 11pm last night. I had a headache after that so I didn't do anything.

Today I've been working on the pesky romper suit. Now I remember why I never finished it! Frustrating isn't the word for it... I nearly tossed it back in the UFO pile, but I made myself struggle on. It is the right size for R so I should finish it now if I want to make use of it. There is a lot of very slow hand sewing to be done on it. I might finish it off tonight - if I figure out how to do the front button bands. I don't understand the instructions at all.

Thursday, 11 June 2009


Cheated again because I didn't get it finished off till this afternoon.

This is a nursing hoodie from the Blessed Designs #1003 pattern. I made the small size. All through sewing this I thought it would be too small. I should have read the pattern instructions more closely. It does fit though! But it would be better with a bit more ease.

I cut this out not too long ago, from a knit fabric I bought on ebay. Its kind of an odd fabric - it's a knit but its very thick. The fabric was a very strange width too. Very narrow. It doesn't have a huge amount of stretch to it either.

I added cuffs to it to make it look a bit more sporty. I copied the cuffs that were on a hoodie that I already had. The nursing openings work really well, they aren't too small but they aren't so big that they are gappy.

I've got quite a lot of transfers, labels and other embelishment bits a bobs. I knew I wanted to use something on this because it looked so plain. The heart wasn't quite what i had in mind, but I think it looks great! Its kind of like little crystal bead things. Hopefully it won't all fall off first time I wash it!

Tonight I plan on sewing buttonholes and buttons on to a dress and a shirt, and finishing off a little romper thing.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009


Cheated a little bit. My mum came over last night, and the children didn't get to bed till late, then M brought takeaway home, so I only had the chance to sew a couple of buttons on and hand stitch the cuffs in place. I finished it off completely when R was having a nap this afternoon. Perfect timing - he woke up when I sewed the last button on!

The pattern is called Ollie. Its a long sleeved shirt that buttons onto 3/4 length bloomer sort of trousers. The trousers are cord and the top is made from a very soft and lightweight twill. I had to hem the bottom of the shirt, hand stitch the cuff linings, sew button holes on the back of the shirt and sew all the buttons on. There are buttons on the legs of the trousers too, so you can change a nappy without unbuttoning the trousers from the shirt. I also tried to fix a slightly crooked bit of sewing on the collar band, but I think i ended up making it look worse :-O

Here is a close up of the smocking. I think this is one of the first projects I smocked actually. Shame it took so long to finish it off!
I have projects laid out for tonight. Putting a zip in (scary!) and if I finish that, sewing up a top. Will update with pictures tomorrow.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

7 Day Challenge!

I've given myself a challenge. Finish up one project every day this week, starting Monday and ending on Sunday night.

Mondays Project.

Cloth pads from the Fern and Faerie patterns. Two of them needed over locked together and they all needed threads trimmed and snaps put on. Three of them are the #304 Foldable Wing pattern, and the others are made with the tops from the #303 Contoured tab pattern and the wings from the foldable wing pad. The patterns are interchangeable, so you can make any combination you like. I thought the tabs would be too hard to over lock around. It turned out the wings were hard to over lock around and they look kind of horrible and messy, like they've been sewn by a 7 year old. No more over locked pads I think. When I get round to making some more I will turn and top stitch them instead.
The maxi sizes look pretty good (they're the medium ones) but the mini pads look kind of useless. I can't imagine using them. They are quite small and fiddly to make.

Here you can see the crappy sewing on the #303 style pads! I made the insides with scraps of hemp fleece or cotton sherpa fleece - which are all knit fabrics and they seemed to get all twisted when I did the quilted top parts. It all seems to be slipping about inside the PUL now. The sewing on the #304 style pads is much better, but as you can see they aren't waterproof. The absorbent part is folded into thirds underneath.
This is it unfolded. This is the super size pad. I used 2 layers of hemp fleece sewn together, so there are 6 layers altogether when its folded.
I love the fabric. It was a remnant of quilting flannel that I bought from ebay. I also bought a couple of FQs of co-ordinating flannel.
That's project #1 complete! Tonight I am planning on finishing a smocking project that has been on the go since William was about 4 months old - he is 5 now!!!! It is sad, because it is even too small for R now, but I'm sure I can find it a loving new home once its done. Can't wait to finish it - it is adorable!

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Big Clean Up

I got a new shelf unit from Ikea for my fabric. I thought it might be easier to have it organised on shelves, so I could see what I had more clearly, and reach things easily. I had it stored in boxes before. Its taken me about a week to move it from the boxes onto the shelves, but its done now! I also sorted through unfinished projects, patterns and cleared up my desk.

I've got fleece on the top shelf - kind of messy since I can't reach that high. I just threw them onto the top shelf. Next shelf is knit fabric and cord fabric, next shelf has PUL, flannel, PRR fabrics and interfacing, on the bottom shelf there is a big stack of random fabrics and some natural fabrics - like bamboo and hemp. In the boxes next to the shelf I've got clothes for recycling (or upcycling I think its called?) a box of cut out projects, a box of half done projects - also known as UFOs (that's UnFinished Objects!). The narrow box is filled with smocking projects. On top of that is a box of finished projects, mostly things like small sized nappies, or things that I've taken so long to finish they've been outgrown. I will probably gift them to people or give them away. Next box has a lot of PUL scraps. I have plans for them! And the last box is just stuff I haven't put away yet.

I've got magazines stacked on the drawers. Mostly Sew Beautiful, Burda and quilting magazines. I think I will look for a better storage system for them.

These are my knit fabrics, they're double stacked since there are a lot! Next to them is some cord and other random dress making fabrics - now completely covered in hair, since the cat decided to perch up there.

PUL fabrics, flannels behind and stacks of PRR fabric organised by fabric type. In the little clip on basket I've put iron on interfacings. Can never seem to find them when I need them!

I was just standing back, admiring all my lovely fabric when I suddenly thought eek! Imagine how much all that cost!!!! I think £100 alone on just the PUL, never mind the rest. Maybe I should increase my home contents insurance cover!!!

Next to the shelf is a tall stack of drawers. This is the patchwork/quilting drawer. Not really much in it. I think the FQs could be better organised, maybe in a little basket or something like they are in fabric shops. The other drawers have a random selection of fabrics. I may go through them all again and get rid of some of it.

My desk. (picture taken at half past midnight when I finished clearing up!) In case anyone was wondering, I have a Husqvarna Huskylock overlocker - I think its the 936 model, and a Husqvarna Quilt Designer II sewing machine. I LOVE it! In the background you can see my embroidery machine. Its a Brother 190D and it is a piece of junk! I hate it. You have to hold the thread tension by hand, and it will not connect to the internet, so I'm stuck using the built in designs. The only cards I have for it are Disney cards that came with it.

On the window ledge next to the desk I keep needles and labels and things. On the shelf above the embroidery machine I've got little boxes filled with embroidery threads and embellishments. I've got a Black and Decker tool box thingy that I use for snaps and buttons. I also have a pot that I keep fabric pens, markers, scissors and rotary cutter in.

Under the desk is an Ikea unit on wheels. I pull it out when I'm sewing and use the top to put the pattern I'm using on. In the top drawer I have lots of touchtape and aplix.

Bit of a tangle - elastic and trims.

Thread drawer.

Behind my chair I have a stacker and some boxes. The bottom box is full of things that need mending. The blue box has got patterns that I'm currently using, or plan on using sometime soon. The bag on top of the stacker has got some wool in it.

Here's what's in my stacker. Top drawer has my nursing pattern collection. Patterns from Elizabeth Lee Designs and Babe Too. I will probably never use them as they are so dated. But I'm keeping them because I like looking at them. They also give you ideas for altering other patterns.

More patterns that I'm not really using. I actually have a whole other pattern storage system with the pattern covers in a folder and all the pattern pieces boxed away in envelopes. These are just patterns that haven't made it into the pattern storage system, or ones I've finished using and not put back!

My most adored smocking magazine collection! I once paid £40 for a single issue :-O It was a rare hard to find back issue. I've kind of stopped collecting them now since they're no longer available to buy in the UK.

I have a couple of projects that I really want to start, but I'm going to make myself finish off a few of my UFOs before I start anything new. R slept through my moving things around in the bed room, so I think it might be safe to sew in the evenings when he is asleep.

Hope you enjoyed the tour of my sewing room... well, my bedroom.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Old Sewing

I got a new shelf unit from Ikea to store fabric on. I'm in the process of transferring fabric from boxes and drawers onto the new shelves. I have found a LOT of unfinished projects. I also found a little dress that I made for E when she was about 3. It was one of my most favourite things I've ever made. I kept it even though she'd outgrown it. I thought maybe some day I'd have another girl to put it on, but I've ended up with 3 boys instead! Well, i pulled it out and thought hmmm... that could be a top. And so it became a top! It looks really nice too, and seems to fit a lot better than it did when I made it. It ties at the shoulders and it was always a bit gappy. Its the perfect fit now :-)

E tried to model it creatively so you could see better what it is like!

There are a lot of unfinished things in boxes, some only need a couple of things to finish them off, so I'll get onto that as soon as I can. Some things I did throw away (into the textile recycling bin of course). I'm looking forward finishing sorting all the stuff out. It is a big mess at the moment.