Friday, 23 September 2011

A Squash and a Squeeze

I know my last post was all about how busy I am and how much I have to do in the next few weeks but... there is always time to stop and enjoy some simple pleasures in life, surely?!

Well, that's exactly what we did last weekend. We booked a long weekend in a Shepherd's Hut in Bodium, East Sussex and it was brilliant! Yes, the huts are small and there's no hot water or electricity but you really do have everything you need. There's solar power, a gas stove and a wood burner and the showers in the seperate block are amazing. (I would recommend taking a flexible trug if you have a toddler like Wiss, who hates showers. It made bathtime a breeze!) The weather was pretty good too (we came prepared for all eventualities!) we saw farm animals, walked in the woods, cooked on the campfire and generally just kicked back.

Funnily, we took this book with us to the Shepherd's Hut. It's one of Wiss's favourites. And if you are familiar with the story then you'll know that after spending some time in a very small space, we came home and no longer felt like our house was a squash and a squeeze. Yes, we're full of fiddle-di-dees!
 This weekend I'll mainly be at the sewing machine (apart from when I'm running or baking a cake for my work's annual cake competition!) Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Get Ready to Sell it Mama!

Just a quick post to let you know what I am up to now...and for the next four weeks!

'This is Wiss' is making another appearance at the next Sell It Mama event on the 8 October so I am busy sewing a whole new batch of stock. I am making all the best sellers plus some new twists - gorgeous changing mat and wet bag sets sets in Kokka fabrics, Bobby Horses in fab new colours and lots more Flannel Monsters!

I dream of one day having a sewing room - or even just a corner of a room to lay out all my things and not have to pack them away at the end of the night. But until I win the lottery the kitchen table is where it all happens, after Wiss has gone to bed, and after we've had dinner!

I can't complain though as I do have a special helper with me most evenings...

The weekend of the 8/9 October is a big one for me. As I mentioned (once or twice already!) I have Sell It Mama on the Saturday, and then on Sunday morning I will be running the Royal London Parks Half Marathon, raising money for Asthma UK. That Sunday also happens to be my first wedding anniversary so I hope to enjoy a glass or two of bubbles with Mr T in the evening!

You'd think that after all of that I would be planning a rest...but oh no! The Kids Clothes Week Challenge Fall 2001 starts on the 10th October over on Elsie Marley and I can't wait to get involved! The idea is simple: you spend an hour each day of the week making some clothes for the little people in your life. That's it! I know Wiss could use some more clothes and it will be cool to see how much I can acheive in a week. Why don't you join in too?

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Another weekend, yet another handmade birthday present!

I told you it was birthday season for us! The scary thing is the birthdays carry on coming until the middle of November...and then it's Christmas of course! (Sssh! Just pretend I didn't write that word, we've got ages until then.)

The birthday in question this week is a little girl's second, and seeing as summer really is over and I couldn't get away with another Warhol dress, I decided to make a Simple Skirt (from my favourite blog, MADE) I figured it could be worn on it's own if we have a late Indian summer, or with tights more than likely! It really couldn't have been any simpler to make and I am very pleased with the results.

I wanted to make it girly but avoid the cliched pink, and I had some great buttons that I've been wanting to use for ages. I love grey alongside a bright colour, and on kids clothes I think it looks sophisticated without being too 'old'. (I realise there is just the tiniest hint of grey on this project but I mean in general.)

The skirt is double layered using a red and white striped polycotton to contrast with the buttons, and a fab red cotton. I used grey cotton for the double stitching on the hems and waistband to add some more detail. I wanted to make some reference to it being her second birthday but thought an appliqued number would be too obvious and spoil the look so instead I went uber-subtle and sewed on a button for each of her years!

Fingers crossed it is dry on Saturday for her party! Now what I really need to do it start making more stock for This Is Wiss. The next Sell It Mama is in less than 5 weeks time.....! Eek

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Celebrate the Man!

Hooray! I have finished the man-sized shorts and I am pretty pleased with them : )

If you've read my blog before you'll know that these shorts came about through outfit-envy of the shorts I made for Wiss as part of the Celebrate the Boy series on Made But making a real pair of tailored shorts was a completely new challenge for me. There were so many pieces! And the instructions took some deciphering for a novice like me, but I got there. And they look like a decent pair of shorts, even if I do say so myself!

I used a Kwik Sew pattern for flat fronted mens shorts:

But it was the fabric that was going to make these shorts really unique. The Snorkel range from Cosmo Cricket has some really lovely designs but my favourite is definitely the Life Preserver pattern.

I decided to use a bright red cotton for the pockets and the inside of the waistband. They will rarely be seen but even just a glimpse helps to make the shorts extra special.

As you can see in this last photo, the inside of the shorts is not quite as neat as the outside. I feel like I need a serger and then it will all be much better, but then only a bad craftsman blames her tools! I have learnt so much in the process of making these shorts, and I'm sure if I had to make them again, I could make them even better. But that's the way it always goes!

Now I know that the summer is practically over, but the sun is shining today and the man in question tells me that he is off somewhere hot next month so the shorts will get some wear this year. What I great challenge, thanks for pushing me out of my comfort zone but sorry it took me so long!