Wedding dressmaking 

I just wanted to share a little bit of dressmaking I did last month for my dear friends Lios and Phil’s wedding. I decided it would be nice for Rose and I to have something nice to wear to this occasion and found some really nice fabrics perfect for a summer wedding day.

As I currently have no waist, I decided to go for old faithful empire dress. I love this pattern even when not pregnant because it’s so comfortable and so perfect for any occasion that involves a meal!

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I really loved what I managed to achieve with Rose’s little dress pattern – especially how cute the easy fit design looked. So in a minor moment of madness – forgetting I am not a cute tiny toddler – I decided this time to alter my pattern slightly to give it a more easy fit feel too. I did this by sitting my pattern pieces away from the centre point of the fabric by about 15mm to make them a little wider. I then got a little nervous as realised this was overall quite a lot of extra width, and I panicked about the extra fabric and how it might fit under a cardigan, how much of a whale I might appear, etc etc, so I ended up trimming the same amount away from the outer edges. It was a bit of a wreckless risk as my fabric was quite a small piece really and there was no spares for recutting – but I very happily report that it came out so so well. I love it when that happens. I actually think I will make this alteration on all future versions of this dress – it really looks lovely.

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Rose’s dress was another version of the aforementioned easyfit empire style I made her previously. I added a little bit of lace trim to make it extra special though. And we were ready to go.

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The wedding was super fun. The evening party was on a boat which Rose loved – she really danced the night away and still talks about dancing on the boat. It was difficult for a while to explain we weren’t going on any more boats…

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Little cook’s apron

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A little while ago I found this great fabric in a charity shop. I was hoping there would be enough for a pillowcase, but alas not (it was bundled in a bag so I couldn’t tell) but for a while I have wanted to make Rose a little play apron for when she is playing in her little kitchen (which is quite a lot really) and this seemed the perfect use for my fabric find.

I had the perfect home alone morning at the weekend which was the perfect time for a little bit of sewing machine action. A sweet but simple little project.

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Here is how I made my little apron in case you would like to make one too…

t h e  t h i n g s  y o u  w i l l  n e e d :

A piece of cotton type fabric about 90cm x 70cm
Scissors, pins, a hot iron, a sewing machine, a tape measure

w h a t  t o  d o :

Cut out a piece of fabric  90cm x 35cm (my fabric was 90cm wide and this was perfect). Using a hot iron,  turn up the hem 1cm, then over again. Turn in the side edges 1cm. Then sew all the way around with your machine to secure everything.

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Next you want to put some gathering in the top of your apron. To do this, put two rows of a long running stitch along your top, unhemmed, edge. The first needs to be about 1cm from the top and the second another 0.5cm below. Start and finish these lines about 5cm from the side edges and remember to leave long threads at each end. I find doing two rows is useful to give a good even gather, and also good if one of your threads snaps (argh!). Snip a little notch at the top centre point of your apron as a marker for later.

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To prepare the waistband, cut an 8cm wide band which is about 130cm long. You may need to cut two bands and sew them together to make up the length (as I did). Next press over the top and bottom edges of your band by 1cm, then turned in the ends by 1cm and finally fold and press the band in half all the way along (see pictures!)

Mark the centre of the waistband with a pin, then place two more pins one each either side at 20cm  away from your centre pin.

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Pin the edge of your apron to the first outside pin on your waistband. Pin the centre notch on your apron to the centre pin on the waistband, and then the other edge of your apron to your last outside pin.

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Draw up the threads one edge at a time until your apron fits the waistband. Make sure the top of your apron is sitting straight against the fold line in the waistband. Fold the band over and pin evenly along the length. This bit can be a little bit tricky to get your gathers even and fitting properly but persevere, it’ll fall into place.

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Secure everything with a sewing machine line close to the bottom edge of the band, sewing from the end to end of your waistband.

preparing the patch pocketslittle apron patch pockets

To add pockets cut out two squares 12cm x 12cm. Press in the edges by about 1cm, then stitch along the top edge. Pin and sew your pockets onto you apron about 20cm in and 9cm up from the outside edges of your apron (or where you think looks about right). I added my pockets last as it can be tricky to work out how the fabric will gather and effect the spacing, but it might have been easier to get them straight and even if I had done these before gathering the fabric…I’ll leave this decision up to you!

Then all that is left is to cut off your loose threads and find a little baker to model your creation.

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Rose really likes her little apron. And not just for the kitchen – it has proved also a good shop keeper’s apron for when she is selling icecreams – the pockets are a win to put the money in. I am pleased she likes it.

Rose in her apron checking recipesRose in her apron, whisking a cookbook

Woolapple nice and tidy weekend

This weekend was quite a quiet one for us, Rose hasn’t been well this week and is still coughing a lot. She has mainly just wanted to sit on my lap at every opportunity but I am pleased for the cuddles.

It was nice yesterday though when she had a brighter few hours and I was able to make the under worktop curtains for the kitchen I have had on my to do list for about six months.

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I bought the fabric earlier in the week, after deciding on yellow gingham then getting to the shop and finding this was out of stock, I settled on some yellow with white spots (Rose thought this one was nice) and some lovely green flowery fabric which I couldn’t resist because it was the same colour as the kitchen wall – although wasn’t convinced completely that this was a good thing…

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It was nice to do some sewing, and use some tools. And my green with green walls looks grand!

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Also we are still going with our tidying up and Rich sifted through his million CDs. He put his discarded pile into music magpie to sell and is due a whopping £86! We were hoping to make enough for a take away so this was a lovely surprise – especially as you can’t even tell he’s got rid of anything. I got rid of a few of my CDs too so I am hoping for a cut…(although apparently mine were only worth 25p)

I’ve also been busy turning my hand to a spot of weaving and a dazzling bit of crochet so see you soon. x

Minecraft Cushion

Continuing on the theme du jour, here is another Christmas present make I wanted to share with you – this little quilted Minecraft cushion which I made for my computer game fan sister.

If you don’t know what Minecraft is, I think it’s a game where  you have to find blocks of different materials and then you can build things with them (sorry if you know a bit more about this one and are a bit dismayed by my explanation there) Anyway, looking at screenshots of Minecraft with all the blocks of different colours, I knew there would be a good patchwork project to be found there.

And I wasn’t the only person to make the Minecraft/quilt connection. Doing a little online search I found that there were lots of people who have also make some lovely quilts on this theme. I decided a quilt might be a bit ambitious, but a cushion would be a nice sized project for me and would be a nice present too.

One popular motif was for a creeper, which is a sort of little monster made of grass (?) It’s got quite a simple design and colour palette* (and Rich thinks it’s got a friendly face, although I’m not 100% sure about that) so I thought it would be a good one to do. I cheated a bit with the designing part as found this amazing answer to my prayers in the form of this Quilt along with Dawn video.

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I really recommend Dawn’s video, but just wanted to share a few pictures of my cushion in progress. I have made quilts in the past and really complained about how time consuming and boring I find it, but this time I sewed the pieces together in pairs to form rows and then just sewed the rows together (I don’t know if you can tell from my pictures. Night time pictures) and this really cut down time cutting off loose ends and neatened it all up and was a much better experience.

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After sewing all of my squares together I backed my cushion with a square of one of my favourite green shade fabrics, and inserted a zip (rather than doing the pillow opening in the video) I didn’t put a border on my cushion as it fitted my cushion pad perfectly like this – in fact the cover could have done with being a little bit smaller so the pad really stuffed it and gave it shape. I perhaps could have been a bit more organised taking measurements (my seam allowances may have been a bit smaller than Dawn’s when I look back).

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I admit the whole thing is a bit of a wonky one, but I think the overall effect is quite grand, and what a lovely personal present if you have a friendly computer gaming friend.

 

*here is the explanation for why I had so much green fabric lying around for our Christmas leaf wreath.

Cheese on Toast

One of Rose’s favourite games at the moment is to make me lunch in her little kitchen. She is very attentive and always asks if i’ve had enough and does the washing up for me. She also likes to help in the real kitchen, buttering her toast and grating cheese.

We bought her a very sweet little toaster for her birthday, and i thought it would be nice for her to have some cheese and a little grater of her own so she can make cheese on toast in her kitchen whenever she likes.

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I decided to have a go at some felt craft for this little project as the colours are so nice and they make lovely tactile toys.

For the grater and cheese i needed:

Light grey, black and yellow felt
A black fabric pen
Ruler, pencil, paper, pins
Grey and yellow threads and a needle

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I made up some little paper templates and cut out my felt pieces as follows:

For the grater: i needed two grey pieces 14cm x 9cm for the front and back and two pieces 14cm x 5cm for the sides. I used black felt for the top and bottom these were two pieces 9cm x 5cm.

I drew my cheese grater design onto the front and back and sides using my fabric pen. My pen was a dylon pen and needed a hot iron to set it. i was a little bit worried about how the felt would survive a hot iron but it was fine and the pen has worked really well.

For the cheese: i cut out two 8cm x 8cm squares for the top and bottom and then marked 2cm down from one corner and drew and cut along this line to create a diagonal edge (as if it had been grated away!). The side pieces i cut out were 3 pieces 8cm x 4cm, and one piece 6cm x 4cm.

I stitched all of my pieces together using blanket stitch on the outside of my pieces (with wrong sides together) making sure that my stitches were about 3 – 5mm from the edge of the felt and about 5mm apart.

I also used a bit of my yellow felt to make some little grated cheese pieces – i am not really sure how long those will last before going up the hoover though!

 

Rose was absolutely delighted with her little toaster (toasty as she says) and knows exactly what her cheese and grater are for. It’s a lovely time when we have tea at Rose’s.