Saturday, 19 April 2014

Rosa gets some accessories

This was my daughters idea but very much made by me.... If you couldn't tell! She goes to a pottery club and one session she asked me to make a bow for Rosa as she wanted it to be a headband. I made these little clay bows and have only just got around to fixing them to the elastic so that they can be used. We have since made a few handfuls of these bows but each time I think people are pinching them which is a real shame. We have only come home with 5 so far. The other 3 we attached to hair ties for my daughter and a friend. We will keep making them in the hope we get left with a few more. 
Rosa does look quite sweet with her accessories. What a good Idea it was!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Mermaid tail

This is my gorgeous girl in her mermaid tail. I made it as a costume for a party she went to recently. She looked at some mermaid pictures on Google and found a very realistic or rather, sophisticated, image of a woman with a huge tail, swimming underwater with huge breasts. And said to me, Mummy I want to look like that! I tried to explain the obvious and said I would try to make something just as good. This is the result of a lot of labour over a few days, through baby naps and night times. It is essentially an apron tied on the back. It means you can take it off if it gets annoying and still be wearing a lovely dress underneath. So maybe its more of an accessory than a costume.

First I drew a tail shape, (constant alterations until it looked right). You can see that I drew a rough scale pattern onto it. This was to work out roughly how many I would need to make.

Then I drew up my scale pattern with a full cm as seam allowance and got to work cutting out about 120 pairs! Very monotonous, reminded me of the bunting. But small curves are a lot harder to cut.

Each scale was stitched and pressed flat using a card insert.

The tail was cut in calico and silk and then wadding added to the fins.

Each scale was placed into a row and each row was stitched, one at a time, until it filled the whole tail and looked like this......

When the light hits it, its gorgeous. The colours are so rich and the tiny bits of sparkle just make it look more fun.

I added the sparkle to the tail fin and then cut the same pattern using fine tissue paper which I had drawn the tail fin lines on. This was then carefully pinned on and sewn on top of.

Here you can see the stitching on top of the tissue paper. Then you peel away the tissue paper and you are just left with your perfectly spaced stitch lines.Looks like you are just great at sewing!

Here is the front and back piece of the tail, ready to sew together. I added two long ties to the top in a coordinating silk, right sides together and bagged it out. I hand stitched the top waistline to finish it off. I then pressed the hole thing under weights and books overnight as I didn't want to iron it and ruin / melt it!

First thing in the morning my girl tried it on with excitement and I'm happy to say, it looked great. Phew job done. Five days of work for three hours of wear! Sigh! Hopefully it will get worn again.

Hair bows V2

My daughter has a thousand hair accessories.........but its never enough! She loves it when I make her new ones. Above is her own colour choice, below are mine.

World book day 2014

No guesses needed. First choice was Winnie the Pooh. I drew a blank on the costume front and asked her to pick again. She chose Little Red riding hood and i thought, phew, easy, cant go wrong there!

I drew a cape shape freehand and then mirrored it. (I prefer to cut a whole piece, rather than cut on the fold as I find its never accurate enough otherwise).

I gathered the neck with elastic just to keep it nice a soft and comfortable. Also in an attempt to avoid strangulation!

The dress was a school summer dress with a apron that I made from an old linen table cloth. Much easier than last years. And hopefully she will wear it again too.

CSP or cloth pads

Here are the first pads I made. I love my Moon and Sckoon cup but I thought id try my hand at the version of sanitary wear that I could sew. It was a lot harder than I thought. I made 3 night and 3 day pads. They look good enough I suppose, here's hoping they work.  They are a present so I hope the recipient isn't too scared of them!

Hobby horse V4

After a few versions, this is the latest, with wooden ball handles and wheels. I kept the head plain as I wanted to emphasise the glossy colours on the woodwork.

Drilling the holes through the pole was scary, just in case it split. I should have drilled first but forgot to.

Here are the wheels with different coloured pins.

Pink and turquoise on different sides.

The handles go right through the pole.

The final head with leather bridle and reins.

This was a present for a special friend of my daughters. It needed a vast amount of wrapping paper, so my daughter decorated some brown paper with coloured sticky dots. Worked a treat.

Roll up roll up...the Christmas tree

This is our Christmas tree. I wanted something on the wall as the small one was just going to pull off all the decorations and cause daily devastation if we got a real tree. My daughter and I went out and collected fallen branches  and using a few other bits and pieces that we already had, I made this tree. I love it. It was nice to have something up on the wall for a change, kept the flat tidy and I didn't have to hoover pine needles daily.

First I marked out on the wall how big I wanted it to be.

We then stripped the bark, if the branches had any on and cut them to size.

Using the rest of a box of vintage wooden playing blocks that I had picked up for cheap on e-bay, I drilled them all right through.

I laid out the branches with blocks between them as spacers.

I threaded the branches and blocks onto very strong blind cord.

All the way to the top. It took a while, all evening!

This is what it looked like when I'd put the lights on. I used cable ties as it was quick. It wasn't so noticeable when all the decorations were on and really held them tight and in exactly the right place.

One of the great things about this design is that if you loosen the cord ever so slightly you can just roll it all up like a rope ladder and it becomes very easy to store. And then next year you can just roll it out again. Though I feel I might want to make a whole new one next year!


This one was made by my friend and I, though maybe a little bit more by her than me, as i was doing a quick orange one, below,  while she was glueing all the plumage for this one.

This one was very strong and took a fair amount of beating. But it was a hit...literally!

This one looks a little sad as its obviously not finished here. If you can't guess, its one of my signature cloud shapes. When I find a picture I will update. It was blue with hanging raindrops but I made it so thick that even the men had to get in there and give it a real good bashing!

Wizard and fairy wands

Excuse the really bad pictures. These are some wands I made. I wanted to practice my spiral painting technique.

I finished them all then shoved them in a draw before handing them over to my friend, so I never got good pics of them unfortunately. They have been very popular so I'm told!