#ShowYourWork

Fabrics that will melt nicely. Sandwiched together with Bonda-web. Covered with a layer of chiffon. Awaiting some serious stitchery before I take a soldering iron to it. Hopefully a project for the Easter hols, when it can be done outdoors in the spring sunshine without causing asphyxia to my nearest and dearest.

Many thanks to Susan Lenz for her wonderful tutorial

Strumpet Barbie

A friend bought Moon Munkie a Barbie-esque dolly back from her holidays. I feel ambiguous about these toys. On the one hand pretty dollies are a mainstay of childhood. They encourage imaginative play; life skills like hair brushing, face washing and getting dressed; they assist with development of fine motor skills as tiny fingers learn to dress and undress, do up and undo; and generally they make little ones happy. One the other hand, they seem to promote a type of beauty that is unachievable for most women; reinforce an unhealthy focus on appearance, hair, clothes and weight; and I feel that they encourage a materialistic and consumer-orientated approach to life too.

So here’s my dilemma. As a kid I wanted a Sindy so badly. I asked for one for months. My Mum eventually capitulated. I was so excited as I opened my Christmas present, knowing there would be a dolly in it for me.
And there was. A freckled Sindy with long chestnut hair. And a trench coat… A long, toad-green, trench coat.

Here’s a cracking photo of me, having just opened it, before I got my “polite face” on, holding the dolly with an expression that clearly says, “What the Dickens is that? ” Of course, in my 4 year old naivety, I hadn’t specified that I wanted a dolly with a pretty dress, it just seemed obvious.

[Edit: Having re read this, I’m concerned that I sound like I’m whingeing. Really, I’m not. With hindsight my Mum probably had similar ambivalence towards the pointy-plastic-breasted ones as I have now. My life was not ruined. I am not emotionally scarred! I learned to sew in order to make new clothes for her. It’s just a funny story.]


That’s part one of the dilemma. I wanted one, so badly that I don’t want to say no out of hand. Part two is that Moon Munkie fell instantly in love with what I’ve come to call Strumpet Barbie. Of course she did. She’s a dolly with blonde hair to her knees and a “pretty” [read: slutty] gold and red dress. With gold metallic decoration. What’s not to love when you’re 2 and a half?
Anyway, I’ve decided not to make too much of a fuss for now.  Trollop Barbie can stay, although I’ve made her a new princess dress which is altogether more demure and  pleasing. I got a lovely and very easy tutorial from Miss B Couture. Given that I think she’s writing in her second language, this tutorial was easy to follow and easy to adjust to a slightly different doll. Also, I wanted it to be a long dress right to the floor.

It was a quick make, just a couple of hours. The top fabric was sheer and hard to work with. I was toying with making Moon Munkie the same costume. But I don’t  know if I physically could. I’m not good with slippy fabrics.

And that should be the end of the story. But after I’d taken the photos for this post, I presented Princess Barbie to Moon Munkie, full of motherly pride and creative joy at having made something so lovely for her. She gave me a look reminiscent of trench coats and said, “I want red one.”

*sigh*

Streetwalker Barbie is back.

Complete Surprise

I received an complete surprise in the mail yesterday.  I had 100% forgotten that I was one of 5 winners of Seek Speak’s  Moon Munkie Mystery Make. And yesteday a wonderful packet arrived. It was HUGE! And crammed full of goodies, all wrapped in a gorgeous brown scarf. I don’t think I’m going to be able to cut that. It might just have to be worn as it is.

Here’s what was inside.

  • A beautiful blue vest top with a beaded top.
  • A length of the softest pink gingham with a floral motif
  • A length of white lace curtain
  • A piece of batik in browns
  • A suns and stars fabric in blue and bright yellow
  • 5 gorgeous origami papers and a heart cut out of a similar design
  • A metre or more of 1 inch elastic in pwder blue
  • A metre or more of a dainty lace trim n yellow and white
  • And my favourite item: a dress pattern. It’s a lovely long dress and even better, it has the words EASY across the top. So I might even be able to make something I can wear.
  • A white plastic grid thingy (bottom left of the photo). I have no idea what this is. It’s divided into small squares and they are sectioned off in larger squares. It’s very flexible. Maybe for a tapestry? If you know what it is, do let me know!

Oh, how exciting. I have 420 ideas just now, but I don’t know where I’ll eventually go. Do please give me your ideas in the comments

Baby Blankets

 These were my most recent commission. And I’m quietly pleased with them. Twin baby girls, friends of a friend of a friend (catch that?) born 2 weeks ago.  The request was that they be very girly with their names on. So I went with pink and peppermint polka dots with a constrasting cream fleece.

Initially I thought that it would just be a square blanket with their names on, but as I started to sew I realised how easy it would be to put a contrasting fleece-lined hood onto the cream side. So the teeny-tiny twinnies will be cosy-warm and snug.

I don’t have an embroidery machine (yet… one day one will fall out of the sky as I’m walking past and beg me to carry it home…) so that limits my options a bit for putting names on.  I like applique, but  machine applique on tiny letters requires more skill than I possess. So I went for hand applique. It was ok, but I still prefer the smooth professional look that machine applique gives.

 

Just as a post script: Has this ever happened to anyone else? I managed to sew through my presser foot whilst making the baby quilts. Sometimes living with Noak (my Swedish-made trusty steed…) is like having a sulky teenager in the house. I select a straight stitch and he refuses and goes ahead with a zigzag. One day I’m going to come home from a weekend away and find he’s thrown a party in my absence. There’ll be a suspicious collection of sewing machine oil bottles in the recycling bin; a tell-tale strand of pink cotton where girl sewing machines have been going through my lipsticks; and on closer inspection I’ll find someone has thrown up behind the piano. But I’ll still love him anyway.

Moon Munkie Mystery Make Giveaway Experiment

*This competition is now closed. Winners will be announced soon.*

I so enjoyed taking part in Sew Thankful last week. It was great to be talking with people from all over the place who sew all kinds of things. It’s given me confidence to attempt an experiment which I’ve been wanting to try for a while. And here it is: the Moon Munkie Mystery Make. I have 4 mystery parcels. They are bursting at the seams with beautiful bits and pieces from my stash. The packages are almost identical in content: more than 20 items in each. Some vintage some more modern, with a colour theme running through. I want to give them away. Would you like one?

If you do, then read on and see the guidelines for the giveaway.

1) They need to go to people with sewing or crafting type blogs which are updated at least weekly. Regularly. Weekly is too hard when we’re all busy making.

2) From the date you receive the parcel, you have 4 weeks to create something inspired by the items in the parcel.

3) You may use all or some of the items in the parcel and you may add from your own stash or buy additional items.

5) At the end of the 4 weeks (or before if you’re quick!) you agree to blog about the item you made (with a link to Moon Munkie) and the processes you went through – with pictures of course!  You can also blog as you go along if you like.  A tutorial for making your item is not essential, but would be appreciated!

6) I will also blog about the challenge. I’ll link to your blog from mine and from my facebook page. So hopefully your blog will get lots of extra visits, too.

 7) Optional You could then do the same sort of thing. Offer 4 packages from your stash to other crafters. I wonder how far it would spread?  I hope you will do this, but I don’t want to make it mandatory in case it puts people off joining in. [Edit: I didn’t mean for people to do this until they’re ready. It’s not a condition for entering.]

So, if you think this would be fun grab the Moon Munkie Mystery Make button and show it on your blog, so other people can hear and take part. Then leave a comment below to tell me a bit about you. Put a link to your blog. I’ll leave the competition open until Tuesday 21st February and then I’ll use a random number generator to pick four people.

I do hope that lots of people want to take part. I’m thinking of making it a regular feature if it’s popular.

 

Cutie cupcakes

Moon Munkie loves baking, but there are days when there’s no time, it’s not practical or when further sugar consumption is A Very Bad Idea. Hey presto, felt fairy cakes were formed. I have had no end of people ask for some. They’re so quick and easy to make: from cutting the felt to completed cupcake is less than an hour. And here’s how:

You’ll need :

  • a piece of mid brown felt for the cake (1 A4 sheet made 5 cakes)
  • a piece of pastel felt for the icing (I used pink and white)
  • handful of polyester stuffing
  • corresponding thread
  • a needle
  • cupcake pattern

Instructions:

  1. Use the templates to cut the cake top, bottom and sides from the mid-brown felt.
  2. Use a blanket stitch to attach the bottom od the cake to the shorter edge of the cake side. Just ease the cake side around as you stitch. Felt is very forgiving. It stretches a bit and you can trim it at the end if the edges overlap. You should end up with a cup shape.
  3. Stitch the edges of the cake side together on the inside of the cup, again using blanket stitch.
  4. Now attach the cake top to the top of the cup, again with blanket stitch. Remember to leave a little gap to put the stuffing in.
  5. Fill up the cake with polyester stuffing. It should be firm, but not hard.
  6. Stitch up the hole. Cup cake is finished. Now to ice!
  7. Use the templates to draw and cut out the icing top and the icing swirl from the pastel felt.
  8. Using blanket stitch, attach the icing top to the centre of the top of the cake.
  9. Do a loose running stitch along one long edge of the swirly icing strip. Oversew a few times at the beginning so that the thread won’t pull out.
  10. Slowly pull the thread from the end which is not fastened. Shuffle the felt down the thread until it begins to ripple and then curl around on itself. You need to decide how swirly you want the icing to be.
  11. Curl the icing swirl around on itself and stitch through the centre of the swirl a few times to hold it in shape.
  12. Attach the swirl to the top of the icing circle, I used blind stitch but you could just do it like you’re sewing on a button.
  13. Ta da.

I bought a set of 6 silicon muffin cases and a 6 hole yorkshire pudding tray for £1 each from Poundland. Moon Munkie loves serving them up to us with a cup of tea. And as she would say, “Be careful. Hot.”

Umbrella Cushion

I made this as a housewarming gift for friends. It’s a square cushion with an aqua green and cream patchwork cover. The umbrellas represent the protection their new home will bring. The canopies are applique and the handles are beaded. It has an envelope closure with an accent of the cream fabric.

Snuggie Cloths

 

I found two gorgeously thick fairtrade cotton t-shirts in a charity shop last week for £1 each. They were so soft and lovely that I couldn’t bear to leave them there. So one pink and one turquoise t-shirt came home with me for this snuggie cloth project. I sewed 2 pieces of t-shirt material together so that pieces of ribbon and fabric are sandwiched in the seam. All the ribbons and fabrics are different colours and textures in order to excite little baby fingers (and tongues, if we’re being honest- so I double stitched everything. No choking hazards here!) I put a piece of soft fleece in the middle for added huggability. Once I’d finished the centres looked a bit empty. So I cut out man-in-the-moon and star shapes to brighten it up. And then I found some fuzzy-microfibre to give a little interest to the reverse side.