Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Simple Gingham Layered Skirt for Sophie

There are many things that I love about being a Mummy.  The hugs, the kisses, the big smiles and of course the requests to put my sewing skills to good use.
Making skirts for girls is not something that I have done very often.  Even at college we tended to make items for adults.  Made may other clothes but not many skirts, not sure why either....anyway.
Sophie mentioned a RaRa skirt months ago and to be honest the weather did not really spur me on.  A week before the summer holidays Sophie spotted some lilac gingham with a delicate white daisy printed on it.  With no actual pattern I took a deep breath looked at the width of the roll and said "1 metre please".
Due to not having a pattern I decided to Google it and I found a tutorial over at Dana Made It.  It is called a Layered Skirt but to me it will always be a Ra Ra skirt, it is my age you see.  
I did tweak the instructions a little to suit the measurements I needed and my own approach, but it went together surprisingly quickly.
Two tiers was about right but Sophie wanted it just a little longer and thought that it would last longer seeing as she is growing so quickly.  I wonder sometimes....is she only 9 years old?
Sophie did help with the making by whizzing along the edge of each tier with my over edge stitch before I turned up a small hem.
Unlike the tutorial I decided to work from the waistband down to check length and I changed the proportions of the first tier to make it a little narrower.
Sophie had quite an input to the overall appearance of the skirt, it could have been much frillier and with more layers but this is exactly how Sophie saw her new skirt in her head, as she puts it.
It has already been worn many times and ready for its first go in the washing machine (crikey) and a request for some lightweight dungarees has been put in.  Not got a pattern for that either...any suggestions any one?  
I had a hug and a "Thank you Mummy."
Oh...a slushy Mummy moment.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Quilt and Patchwork Mug Rugs - Opam 2012

I am having a really good week for sewing and on Friday I managed to complete these two mug rugs.  Had to show it off with a spotty cup and saucer.
This mug rug is made up of scraps left over from a quilt I made a couple of years ago. patch worked together and the white strip is decorated with some built in stitches on my sewing machine.
The other mug rug is made using Cath Kidston fabric which I bought on the Internet a year or so ago.  Again built in fancy stitches have been used to add to the design.
Both of these mug rugs are quite simple as I think that the fabric needs to speak for itself.  I have made 5 mug rugs now and I think I need to increase the difficulty to stretch myself.  These will go with me to the craft fair in November unless I find a use for them before that date.
I have more stitchy  goodness to show you this coming week.
It has been another glorious day here in Cornwall but we have been indoors emptying the living room ready for the plasterer to come tomorrow to do the ceiling then we can repaint the walls and sort out the floor.  It is nearly two years since we finished the kitchen and it is time to start another DIY project.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Felt Mouse Mini softie

I love the chance to get to grips with any outstanding WIPs that I have hanging about.  They often take so little time to complete that I wonder why it ever became a WIP or even a UFO (UnFinished Object) in the first place.
I started making the above ages and ages ago and I am not sure why it never got completed.  Then whilst watching Peter Pan with Sophie last night I spotted my little mousey friend in bits in my sewing box and thought yes.....
Little black beads for the eyes but I decided to leave the whisker off as they really did not look quite right.
Lovely big pink ears.
Hand-stitched detail which I can get a little carried away with if I am not careful!
She is a very inquisitive little mouse who has enjoyed the summer sun today in the garden.
Including sitting on the decking.........
In fact my little mouse has made such as impression that I have already cut out another one to make.
Ekk Ekk everyone.....

Friday, 27 July 2012

Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony

google images
Sophie and I are sat on the sofa stitching felty mice waiting for the Olympic opening ceremony to begin.............
Are you watching and where are you?

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Summer Daisy Gift

Last May I blogged about my struggle to find any Ox-eye Daisies in any of the garden centres.
Carol at "Smile at the flowers" did just that and sent me some live plants in the post!
I was delighted when a few brave daisy heads managed to bloom considering their arrival in a box and then being put in the ground I was not really expecting them to do anything.
As for this year.....well they have been fabulous!  The plants have multiplied 4 fold and there are so many blooms on them I am astonished.
I can see them from my kitchen window and they have made such an impact on the whole garden. Due to an on-going struggle with slugs I have decided to give up with our veg patch and stick to berry fruits (of which I have good success rates) and flowers to help the bee population.  So our garden is going for the country cottage garden look without the veg bit.
The apples have made an excellent start.  They loved all of the rain that we had and here was no wind this year to knock the blossom off too soon.
The hydrangea's have gone mad with flower heads as big as Sophie's head which she could hardly believe when she saw them.  Now these flowers love water and our excessive rain has been their cause for success.
We have also tried other plants to find out what the slugs will avoid and stocks are one of them.  Not as fragrant as I was hoping but they smell more in the evening.
The hanging baskets are looking brilliant although the sudden hot weather has meant some late evening watering to make sure they stay this way.
We have even had success with seeds which is virtually unknown in our house!
The honeysuckle is out, the pinks we planted are in bloom but not when I took these pictures and even my roses out in the front garden have had more blooms this year that in all of the previous years put together.  So we may have dreaded the rain and many people had a dreadful time you can see why it is needed by our planet, it just needs to be in manageable quantities but we can not really control it can we?
Does anyone have any other plant suggestions that I could try over the coming year?
Carol very kindly sent many other plants of which several have also bloomed including holly hocks and foxgloves.
Unfortunately last November we had to have our garden dug up by the electricity board due a line fault in someone else's house which ran under our garden.  This is actually the morning after as the fault was found at 9pm and they were digging all night!
We even had a mini JCB in the what s a very small garden.  Sophie's playhouse was moved lock stock and barrel to the other corner and several of Carol's plants were lost that day.
The garden was re-turfed, twice in fact due to a large section having died off.
The hole that they dug was over 10 foot deep and went into next doors garden as well.
I shall try and take some current pictures from our bedroom window but there is yet again someone in the next garden burning green garden waste on a lovely day with windows open and people's washing out!  Thick white billowing smoke everywhere.
"Billy Bonfire" hubby calls him. He has done this every day since last Saturday.  His garden looks like Beirut and there seems to be no end to it.  Very anti-social really.  He must have seen us looking over the fence as he has moved his burning dustbin further down the garden.  If the wind blows the wrong way it is straight in through my french windows.
He did this during the world cup a few years ago, we were in the garden and our eyes ran and we had to go indoors and leave everything outside.  We stank so much we had to change our clothes and have showers.
However......we shall continue with our flower garden and see what we end up with next year. What about those daisies though.......lets have another look.......
I think you can sense how happy I am with these very happy looking flowers.
Have a good day.
PS Just rang the council about Billy Bonfire and apparently he is within his legal rights to burn in his garden!  What about my legal rights to sit in mine without being gassed out and needing a shower!  We are breathing it all in as well!  What is the difference between this and noise pollution?
House is sweltering, all doors and windows are shut dare not look at temperature, Sophie is not happy.  Great day ahead I think.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Par and Looe Beach Cornwall

After our meal on Tuesday we decided to go to our local beach.  I hoped to find some shells for my art lessons next year and Sophie was itching to have her first summer paddle in the sea.
There were lots of people who clearly had the same idea as us and the number of dogs swimming in the sea and running around was surprising.  Dogs love the water and there were no trouble whatsoever.  One did decide to shake right by me which resulted in an apology by the owner but having grown up with German Shepperd's it was by no means the first time that has happened.
We walked all the way along and Sophie's job was to find interesting shells that my students would b able to draw shapes and colours from.  I took these pictures under cover yesterday as the sun was so bright I could not see what I was doing!  Must not complain as it is a nice change not be to soaking wet every time I go out of the front door.
This is tiny little shell and is not longer in use by its original owner but has to much detail on it.
Blogger has spun this picture round.....I have a shell book which I have had ever since I was about 8 years old and we are going to try and match up these shells an identify them, so some learning is involved too.
This is a lovely shape.  One of Sophie's finds.
These are now in a shoe box ready to go back to school along with some shells that we collected years and years ago.  They will be used a lot and I intend on doing some drawings with Sophie today using these and the shell book.  I shall post any pictures if they are any good.
Yesterday hubby has a boat survey to do in Looe so we tagged along and sat on the beach for a couple of hours.
Another glorious day, we are really being spoilt at the moment and we intend on making the most of it too.
The beach was very busy with looks to look at and the water seemed very blue indeed today.
Not so good for shell hunting but the sand is excellent for making sand castles.
Sophie's bucket broke a couple of summers ago so as a treat we bought her a new one.  Could not go to the beach and not make sand castles, so this one has a tower and a section of wall all in one.  Hope that makes sense, and with some help as the mould/bucket is quite heavy when full of sand she made her castle.
Next was a moat and water was needed.  It took a few minutes for Sophie to notice that no matter how quickly she filled the moat t was being soaked up by the sand so she then made a channel from the moat to the incoming tide and them it filled up straight away.  She then stood on her castle "defending" it until the sea took it over. 
The day was rounded off with fish and chips on the beach in polystyrene boxes which are bad for the environment but excellent for making basic printing blocks!!!
Great day all round!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Summer has Begun

The start of the summer holiday has been busy with Sophie taking part in a ballet production for three evenings last week and on Saturday night we went to the Arts Theatre to watch it.  It was very good and considering the girls (and a few lads) only have lessons once a week and the groups have those lessons at different times, it all slotted into place very well.
The above picture has nothing to do with the ballet but the posts needs a picture and photos could not be taken at the performance.
We were then invited back to our friends house for coffee and a chat which started off the break really well.
Sunday was a glorious day and so many little jobs done outside in the garden.  The decking and chairs are out, the big umbrella is up and this family is now very ready for the summer,,,now....please weather keep it going for a bit at least.
Today I did go into school for about 4 hours and spent a fun packed session sorting out paper work!!!
Oh yes folks....nothing more fun than seeing just how much work you have done only to have to throw it away because it is out of date in the eyes of someone else.  It is recycled by the way.  So many drawings, photos etc, oh well never mind.

When I got back at about 3pm Sophie and hubby decided to go out on their bikes, but with my hip and upper back the way it is at the moment I decided to give it a miss and enjoy the chance to cook our meal without being knackered or having hubby make it.
Homemade Ratatouille and pasta plus a angel delight and fruit sundae surprise and a sneaky sit outside in between.
google images
After dinner we set off down to the nearby beach to look for some shells and any small bits of driftwood for my art lessons next year.  I have cleaned them off and I shall take some pictures tomorrow.  There were so many people there with the same idea, a glorious Cornish coastline view and calm sea....perfect but sorry no camera, it really was a spur of the moment idea.  I will get my act together and have everything I need in one place for going out like that.

As for tomorrow, well I am going to go back into school to finish off what I started today and maybe tackle the filing cabinet if there is time because in the afternoon hubby has a boat survey in Looe and we are going to tag along.  I shall pack my camera as well.
A preety good start to the summer holiday so far.
What have yo been up?

Friday, 20 July 2012

Bags of Flowers

Looking back through my posts I do not think that I have shown you the second bag that I made along with my year 9 group.  
These pictures do seem to have come out a bit bright even with the flash off.  The fabric is actually shades of green, bluey green and delicate brown. 
This pattern is my own and I added a flap which is bigger than the rose version.  The flap is self lined.and the lining is a navy blue.
The main body of the bag is very spacious inside and I decided not to add inside pockets for a change.
A more of a "chuck it in" and see type of bag.
Again I added rings as part of the strap and to adjust it I simply knot the end at the position that I want the strap to be.
The bag has box corners stitched to give the bag a bit of width and a magnetic fastening under the flap.
The flower was purchased from a shop to add a bit of zing and is simply clipped on.
What do you think?
I am going to a craft fair tomorrow and if this is not sold then it will be going on my website.
I intend making another version but with a different approach to the fabric itself.
Have a good weekend

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Sew for Charity - Wiggley Bags

This is a project that I usually do with my Year 10 GCSE group but due to not having a group this year I decided to work it with my Year 9 group instead.
The Wiggley bags are used to keep the medicine lines untangled when in hospital and are used a lot with Cancer patients.
Once made I send them to Gina at Fan My Flame.
I started the aeroplane one last time I ran this project and the red one I made to show the girls what to do.
This picture shows some of the velcro which is used to hold the fabric together when in use.
There are more than shown in the picture and once done I shall send them off.  They are very straightforward to make and a pleasure to be able to send off to help those who will find them useful. I feel it is good for the students to learn about this.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Monster Workshop 2

Sorry for the delay with these pictures.  I have work pouring out of my ears at the moment and hopefully I will be able to catch up with myself at some point.
As you might remember I had two Monster making workshops during our activity week a short while back.  Well here are the pictures from the second workshop.
Many very original ideas!  We started off both sessions by watching about 30mins of Monsters Inc.  Sets the mood for the rest of the day.
This group were keen to try the fur and did well with a fabric that can be unforgiving if seams are not accurate.
Many of the designs were quite large and did not show any concerns about making the monsters in a day, which was a joy to see.
Some really interesting shapes and use of other components.
Another teacher had taken a group coastal walking and seriously injured her ankle in a badger/rabbit hole so she came in on the workshop and made the rather cute monster shown above.
Then we rounded off the day with a fantastic group shot.
So I think another round of Mega Monster Making Workshops next year too, I think.
I made the green one on Monday and on the Friday I made.......
.....by far my favourite so far.  Oh I so love making these!!!!!
I met my new tutor group today (they are still in Year 6 and will arrive with me in September) and I have an idea to make a tutor group mascot.  Not made one in years...I think we need to make one.  What do you think?  I thought I could have a little bit of a design competition within the group to get some ideas.

Then of course we would need to give it a name.....

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