Sunday, 18 October 2015

Big big (animal menagerie) bag

This was a really fun little project that I actually did with my six year old. She wanted to make a giant bag for her Godmother just like one I had made recently for myself. She set to work on a few design shapes that she could use as a print. Here are a few of them below.

The bag is rather large. Its maybe a weekend bag or a 'throw everything in the boot of the car' sort of a bag. Not exactly something you might carry around on a daily basis. The basic shape is shown here in this quick sketch of mine. I added two sets of press studs to the sides so that the volume of fabric can be controlled when it is not all that full, or so that it can be neatly flat packed.

This is the one I made for myself. I used a heavy weight canvas that I already had left over from repairing some directors chairs a while back. Its rather stiff and will hopefully get better with age but its strong and does the job.

These are the colours we mixed up using a variety of old ones I still had left in the fridge. We added a few pigments to get some more pleasant shades but this is what we started with.

The design shapes were randomly put onto three screens, wherever they fit.

Then we spaced the screens out and made a simple repeat by eye.

With each new screen we just filled in the gaps and it worked surprisingly well.

It was not all that easy trying to teach a six year old how to screen print, without taking over....but I tried! There are a few places where the screen slipped or too much/too little ink was pulled through but then that is part of its charm. After all how many six year old's can screen print!

My daughter added a few more colours so as not to repeat a colour on a different shape. She chose the colours and I tried to follow her lead as best I could.

This is the finished piece of fabric with its wonderful animal menagerie! A cat, a shark, a jelly fish and a fish as well as coral, an acorn, a sun, a star and a flower!

It was well received and hopefully it also gets well used over the years. I think this will age wonderfully and only look better when it gets nicely worn and a bit grubby. Or at least that's my opinion!

Creative trade

A neighbour of mine did some really lovely drawings of my children which we now have up on the wall. I wanted to thank her and offer something that I myself had made. On telling her I wasn't so great at making adult things she asked if I may be able to recreate an apron she had as a child as she had two God daughter's who she would love to give them too. I set to work and made a traditional style apron using some quality white cotton and a simple stencil screen print. I was told the girls really loved them which is great. Seeing as I was making two already, I made one for my children as well. Their dressing up box is mostly home made now as I've been slowly getting rid of the Disney synthetics! I also printed two tops before the screen dried up, just for fun. Unfortunately one cross print did splurge but the kids never noticed!

Speedy cat

We were on our way home from somewhere, kids were on scooters whizzing up the hill. My 2yr old lifts his leg in the air and calls out "speedy cat" and races around my daughter and I. The whole journey home he was calling out 'speedy cat' and acting really cheeky. That evening I decided to make him a little costume for this new alter ego. Pretty plain and very simple. A soft grey wool made into a cape and one little cat shaped mask. The cape my daughter is wearing is one that I made a few years ago and can see in a previous post. Both simple but lots of fun. Costumes are rather loved in our house.

Painting up the garden

We painted a lot of canes in the garden using my favourite spiral painting technique. Revived a sad old table and made a trapeze swing (which is now rather well used as all the neighbours kids love it too). Oh and jazzed up and repaired the old broom. All these little touches make the outdoor space just that little bit more appealing. And as I stand at the kitchen window (washing up) looking out upon the garden for a large portion of my day, it's always nice to see a bit of colour.

Felled tree raised bed

A tree was being cut down adjacent to our estate and the tree surgeons kindly said we could take any of the logs. Having cut the trunk up into bite size sections they could haul away, we were allowed first pick. This was quite exciting but also rather challenging. As I was not going to be able to cut them further I had to spend ages choosing sections that would fit together as best as possible into a careful puzzle that worked with our wonky walls and sloping back yard. They were heavy, it was not an easy job but definitely satisfactory to finally finish.  The idea was that by stacking them this way, the top of the logs could become seating as well as a fun space for the kids to climb about on. They definitely add character and charm to our inner city garden. Having made the bed, it was rather late in the season to start planting but I went ahead anyway...with my lack of skills and knowledge. I planted a few rows of tomatoes that grew straight out of the compost and this little patch grew into a monstrous beast of tangled plants threatening to take over the entire garden. Alas, a short and rather cool summer meant that very few tomatoes actually ripened.......

....but we did harvest just over 8kg of green fruits. Not too bad! My neighbours got chutneys and green tomato ketchup and I gave a few bags away to other neighbours, one of whom made an amazing sweet tomato jam. All of this recycling and working in the garden makes me feel good, it reminds me of helping my mother as a child.

Little envelopes

I've made a few of these envelopes recently. I suppose they could be a sort of clutch if made in luxury materials. The first one I made was the stripey fabric one. It was for my daughter to put a pocket audio player and headphones in. It was a last minute, midnight make. It's not perfect but she loves it. Then I made the oilcloth one to keep my travel documents in. It's very handy to keep all those A4 printed tickets you need these days and some passports in. The nude leather one is a present. Very simple and quick to make but a really handy thing to have. I've already used mine a lot.

Matching leggings

This post is rather late now... It's Autumn already and these were finished at the start of Spring! So finally, here are some leggings I made for my two out of a lovely jersey print by textile artist Rosie Maccurrach. It's lots of little dogs in blue print on a white background. I didn't have enough fabric to make the cuffs and waistbands so had to use something I had in my stash. Not the best match but it worked. I'd love this print in other colourways too... Will have to persuade the designer! Both my two love the print and the fit of the leggings. They also love a bit of matchy matchy.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Back to screen printing

It's been a while since I got the kit out of the cupboard. The little one was at Nursery so it was a rare chance for me to have a few minutes undisturbed. I used a screen and a stencil that I've used before, so you may recognise it and the Jersey was already in the cupboard. So not a whole lot of planning here. I wanted to print fabric up to sample some new legging patterns for my kids. These are the results. Nothing fancy but worked just how I was hoping,so can't complain.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

World book day again

My daughter chose her character herself. Not that we have been reading any Angelina ballerina recently but that's what she chose. Luckily not too much sewing to do this year as we already had some suitable items... Phew!
I made a hairband with structured ears attached and then a tail on an elasticated waistband. My boy had to have a tail too and they have both been requesting whiskers ever since! A simple outfit but should become a good staple in the dressing up box.

More bubble wands.....

A couple more wands I made. The last stage of production... lacquer drying on the line. This might make a great birthday present for spring and summer birthdays.