27 February 2015

Superman washbag and some selfish sewing

It feels like an age since I wrote a blog post, I think because I have been pretty good for a change at blogging in advance, where as this one is coming straight at you from my lap! 

So this week one of the projects on my sewing list was to make Master Fox a washing bag. Until I had a child I never even contemplated how much washing a baby creates! Our machine has been going non stop ever since his arrival. Because of the amount of clothes he goes through it felt like a sensible idea to make a washing bag which we can keep in his room to quickly dump everything into to make doing the washing with one hand a little easier! It's a very simple rectangular bag which includes a drawstring channel, a drawstring (of course) and a fabric loop to hang it up by.

Of course to make this I use a bit of the leftover superman fabric in a bit of a stash busting effort. I think there might be a slight chance we overdid the use of the superman fabric in his room! What do you think? Mr Fox would disagree though, apparently you can never get enough superman, at at least it all matches though right? Functionally the washing bag is working a treat, though the drawstring is a little thick making it a little hard to pull on. I will probably thin it out at some point but for now it serves it's purpose beautifully. 

So, what else have I been up too? Well despite me saying that I wasn't going to sew for myself until I had lost a bit of the baby weight I decided I'm also fed up of not actually fitting in any of my clothes and not having anything nice or flattering to wear (hello leggings and oversized cardigans). So I have started to make up a dress in some of the cheaper cotton sateen fabric which I got off eBay. This stuff was less than £5 per meter so one dress is not going to break the bank, and I can always repurpose the zip etc when I have finished. 

I will of course give you more details on this dress once I have it finished, though with only an odd hour here and there to spend it might take me a little while. I am really enjoying getting back on the horse and doing some selfish garment sewing. I was however a little shocked when I saw the size I needed to cut out to get this to fit! 

Finally, just because it's really cute, I did a print of Master Fox's tiny little feet! I used a non toxic ink pad, as paint can be a little too thick for something so delicate. It worked really well and I have this cute little print of his cute little toes to remember when he was so small. I would definitely say this is worth a go as a really cheap moments of your little ones. 


20 February 2015

New Look 6235:Baby Shark Dressing Gown

How adorable is this! I'm not sure Master Fox needs a dressing gown quiet yet but why would he not want this adorable shark one?!?

The pattern is New Look 6235 and it comes with two dressing gown variations as well as knit Jersey pants and top. Of course I chose the pattern for the shark dressing gown, but the jersey pants will no doubt come in very handy, especially as Mr Fox has donated a couple more t-shirts to the sewing cause! 

Because he can't even sit up yet I decided to make the dressing gown in one of the larger sizes so he can wear it whilst sitting about the house. It's about 18lb which roughly equates to 3-6 months, but I anticipate us fitting in this by autumn. It does feel a bit on the large side though but it will give him plenty of room to wrap himself up and grow into. 

I didn't want to spend a whole lot of extra money making this up so I decided to use this project as a bit of a stash buster. I used some grey fleece (formally a blanket) and some plain white cotton to line (formally a bedsheet!) which I already had cluttering up the craft room. They are great for the project, the fleece is warm and snugly and the cotton perfect for next to the skin, warm in the winter, cooler in the summer. However if I was to purchase fabric to make this it would be great with a soft toweling lining to dry off after a lovely warm bath.

I only made a couple of very minor amends to the pattern. I stitched black fleece circles to the hood before attaching the lining instead of using buttons - babies and buttons are not the best combo in my opinion. I also omitted stuffing the teeth as the fleece fabric is pretty sturdy already. 

The pattern was very simple and easy to follow. As others have mentioned the sleeves are a little complex when finishing off but if you read the instructions clearly it makes sense. There are minimal pieces to this, they go together well and as its loose fitting there is no need to get a perfect size. Even the tie was easy to do. I will definitely make this again either in a bigger size or as a gift for any future mums to be that I know. 

I was inspired to make this by seeing That's Sew Amy's version on the Minerva blogger network Blog post. I love it though, it's definitely my kind of sewing :) 

Mr Fox has a fear of sharks but he surely can't be scared of the cute little Master Fox when he is wearing this!


13 February 2015

Marvin the Sock Monkey

Meet Marvin the Sock Monkey! You will probably already know that I have been making cuddly toys for years (take a look at my Monster Magic page if you didn't already know) but I have never ventured into the world of sock creations. There are two reasons for this, firstly that I much prefer the idea of using plain fabric, I think I decided it was less restrictive. Secondly, and more importantly, I have a good friend who makes sock creatures and is much better at it than I will ever be. She does make them to sell so if you are interested in purchasing a sock creature, or just want to have a nose at her brilliant work check out her Socksy Beasts page on Facebook.

Anyway, back to Marvin, why did I made a sock monkey? well because I was gifted a sock monkey kit of course! A great excuse to take a sneak peak into the world of sock creations. The kit is from www.sockcreatures.co.uk and contains everything you need to make your very own sock monkey. Of course they don't just do monkeys. there is a huge range of sock creature kits from a sock fox to a sockasaurus, you really need to take a look to really appreciate how many different kits there are.

So, what do you get in the kit? Well, the bag contained a pair of socks (doh!), I have to admit the colour put me off making this for a while but never mind. You also get some printed instructions on how to make the sock creature, stuffing, thread, needle, accessories to decorate your creature and some sweeties (which really do help the creative process!).

The instructions were very easy to follow and the kit was a doddle to use so I would recommend this. It would be a brilliant gift for a young child to help them learn to sew, but is also a bit of fun for adults too. There are however a couple of comments I would like to make about this particular kit. Firstly, why they sent neon orange/black socks with lilac thread I will never know, the stitching is really obvious. Secondly the pattern shows the arm being cut the wrong way round. The diagram implies you cut the arms with the ribbing close to the body, I did this and it looked really daft as the ribbing on the legs and tail are all at the opposite end to the body. So I had to chop the end open and re-sew to make it look less daft. Apart from that a very lovely kit.

After following the instructions to make the sock monkey you are then left with the option of customising your creation. Now as he is a very dapper monkey, and orange and pink are one of my favourite colour combos I made him this lovely giant pink felt bow tie <3. I think it makes him look very sophisticated!

So what do you think to Marvin? I hope you like him, even if hes not the most perfectly sewn.

If anyone would like to adopt him he is free to a good home, I will happily cover postage, just leave me a comment at the end of the post expressing an interest. If I get more than one response we will do a random number generator by the following week. Please don't post your address details in the comments I will get in touch with you for more details. I should point out though he is not brilliantly sewn so should not be given as a toy to very small children as he is not CE tested for safety.

6 February 2015

Sewing inspiration on a more personal front

 New fabrics, I need to take notes of Alex's faux pas cherry print matching on GBSB this week

I have been doing a bit of DIY this week but instead of posting about that I wanted to write something a bit more personal instead.

I'm not sure whether its the New Year, giving birth, thoughts of spring or the return of things like sewing bee but my drive to want to get some garment sewing done is really overwhelming at the moment. I am feeling so inspired and have so many ideas and things I want to make.

The issue I have is that I am feeling quiet down about my figure at the moment. I realise its only been 8 weeks since giving birth and I cant expect to be back to my old self immediately but I just don't feel overly comfortable in my own skin right now. I am doing everything I can now to try and get back to my old self again; the diet is on and I am snatching as much exercise as I can between naps.

More new fabrics, mostly knits, I love the chevron
Now I can cope with this, it's a fact of life, but it does hamper my sewing drive somewhat. The great thing about sewing clothes for yourself is so that you can have something which is a truly great fit. However, as the time I have to spare to do sewing is minimal now I really need to make the most of it. This means that I don't particularly want to sew clothes for my current shape, as its a shape I don't intend to be in for long, as a result sewing isn't really a productive use of my time. It's great to make stuff, but not if you put your heart and sole into something which ultimately turns out to be of no use as you can never wear it.

 Not completely selfish sewing, you can clearly see a baby pattern here :)

So, how am I challenging this inspiration that I can't put to any use? Well I'm stocking up my fabric and pattern stashes of course (I may be going a bit overboard!) so that once I am back to my fighting weight I can jump straight in at the deep end and starting making stuff ASAP. The problem is the more I buy the less decisive I get on what I actually want to sew! 

Can we class 90's grunge era as 'vintage' sewing? I hope so! I got this pattern from ebay showing its age by the celeb styles of Pheobe from Friends and Frasier's wife!

So I think you can see the theme of my inspiration is dresses, dresses and more dresses. I never used to wear them as being an extreme hourglass figure store bought dresses either fit in the bust/hips but drown my waist or fit in the waist and I bulge out of everywhere else. I am looking forward to tackling this later in the year to try and get some more dresses into my wardrobe. Sadly the girls are not any smaller after this adventure, which was not something I needed, so I am going to have to be brave and tackle all form of full bust adjustments head on. Hopefully once I conquer it there will be no stopping me.

On a side note about dresses I loved the fabric of Deborah's dress on GBSB this week. I need to put it on re-run so I can check the writing on the weft! Not sure its my style put it was a very pretty print.

Do you have any ways of channeling your inspiration when you can't make things when you wanted, or have you been inspired to do some sewing since the return of sewing bee? Tell me all about it. 
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