Flannel Pyjamas

These flannel pyjamas were all but made a year ago, with just buttonholes and the pyjama hems needed. I didn’t feel like getting my sewing machine out for a few months after we moved house, and hadn’t worked out how to do the buttonholes on my new Bernina machine. The buttonholes are actually far easier to do than on my Pfaff Select so once I sat down to finish it was very straightforward and quick.

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The fabric is Anna Maria Horner Pretty Potent flannel. We already have some pyjama bottoms in circulation in a different print from this collection, and after a year or so they were in need of replacing. The fabric washes really well and doesn’t bobble too much. I tried to get the placement of the pocket to match the pattern underneath, as well as matching both sides and am pleased with the result.

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The pattern is from Sew Adorable which is a beautiful book with traceable full sized patterns for lots of useful and stylish children’s clothes including some dress-up and toys. I like the classic style of the patterns. The sizing only goes up to three so N won’t be getting anything else from this book but there are a few patterns I like for boys in there.

 

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The pyjama top was the most challenging part but the steps were fairly straightforward and well illustrated. Sadly she won’t fit into it after this winter but I might seek out another pyjama pattern for older children or even adults one day to make a family collection!

There are a few glimpses of our new house in the background – its not yet finished after over six months but feels like home now after several months of chaos!

Serendipity Baby Coat

ImageI decided to get ahead this year and make a winter coat for my daughter now rather than running out of time and buying one at the last minute! I bought this beautiful Anna Maria Horner Velveteen last year with the intention of making a baby coat, but didn’t have a pattern. I found the Serendipity Coat pattern by Make it Perfect which looked like a great match, and then discovered that Gail at Probably Actually had made a gorgeous one in this fabric already!

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The coat pattern was more straightforward than it looks, you basically cut out every piece in the lining fabric, main fabric and wadding and then tack the wadding to the main fabric. You then sew the lining and main fabrics to make two separate ‘coats’ and then sew together and turn inside out at the last minute. Unfortunately my ‘voila’ moment didn’t quite work out as the sleeves ended up sewn together incorrectly somehow! I managed to fix it by unpicking the sleeves and then sewing the lining and main fabric together from the outside instead. 

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I made a size 2 with size 3 sleeves, after reading Gail’s blog as well as other reviews suggesting the sleeves come out a tad tight. The velveteen definitely makes things more snug but as she will only be around 9-12 months this winter it should fit ok. It looks huge at the moment but she has still worn it a couple of times. 

The buttons were from Ebay and are a perfect match. I decided to go slightly smaller than recommended (30mm instead of 35mm) which works well with the size of the coat. 

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She’s a bit young to appreciate the pockets but it was a useful new skill to learn and not difficult at all. The pattern instructions were very clear and easy to follow. 

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I am now working on some other clothes which are more in keeping with the season! It’s good to have a head start though 🙂

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Camping

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We’ve just returned from our first ever camping trip! We went to The Secret Campsite, a beautiful site in Sussex. The owner, Tim, has done a fantastic job at making the site feel private, with  wildflowers and grass allowed to grow tall between each pitch. Although the campsite was fully booked, from our tent we couldn’t see anyone at all.

I did go a bit overboard with trip planning considering it was just for 2 nights, but having all the right equipment and preparing food in advance definitely helped to make things go smoothly. I did manage to forget to take a sharp knife though, so we ended up slicing bread etc with a very blunt plastic knife!

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I also decided we absolutely needed some bunting and a picnic mat, so managed to make these in 3 days before the trip. The picnic mat was made mostly with Anna Maria Horner’s Good Folks fabrics and a laminated cotton backing (Summer Totem from Loulouthi collection). It measured approx 55″ square. Due to lack of time, I didn’t bind the edges or quilt it but might tie the quilt when I get the chance. I also made bunting using the same fabric. The 2 2.5m bunting garlands went round the living area of the tent nicely.

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The weather was great when we arrived but we woke up to pouring rain and fairly strong winds on Saturday which left us feeling a bit apprehensive about the rest of the trip, however it cleared up enough for us to take a long walk down a disused railway path where we saw rabbits, frogs, bright blue dragonflies and a field of cows.

Unfortunately I didn’t take my SLR to save space but think I will take it next time as the scenery was so beautiful. I’m already planning our next trip!

Handmade Baby

The blog was on the blink for a few months due to the general apathy of late pregnancy. I did manage to muster up the energy to sew and knit some pretty things for the baby, so here they all are:

 

The Sewing:

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Here’s our little Rosie wrapped up in her Anna Maria Horner voile receiving blanket. The reverse is made with cozy  flannel in the yellow diamond mine print from Folksy flannels, and the bias tape is made with pink voile. The headband is made using this tutorial. I made several more as gifts for family members with baby girls, they are really cute!

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The shoes were made with a Joy Folie pattern and I embellished them using a silk scarf from a charity shop (for the flowers), some beautiful organza ribbon from this shop on Ebay, and green felt for the leaves. The fabric is from a piece of Ikat silk handwoven fabric I bought from Uzbekistan on Ebay and the lining is felt. I also made a smaller pair in grey which need to be finished before she grows out of them!

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These flannels were made for my sister, but I made 8 of these for myself, and they are incredibly useful! The reverse is bamboo fleece and very soft and absorbent. They also wash very well and are made with all my favourite prints from a variety of designers.  It’s handy to have enough to keep one in each room as they’re always needed!

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The Itty Bitty baby dress – I sized this up slightly by enlarging the pieces on the photocopier, it still only just fit at 3 days old! Sadly she didn’t wear it again, but it was a very easy and satisfying project so I will probably make her another one in a bigger size soon. I think the main problem was that the sides were too narrow, so increasing the width by an inch on the bodice piece would probably have made it fit for longer.

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The Ice cream dress using an Oliver + S pattern. This is made with Nani Iro double gauze and is very light and soft. Again, the pattern is straightforward, but this is sized quite large (its a 6-12m size). I hemmed about 2 inches up after finishing it as it seemed very long.

The Knitting:

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The piece de resistance – a Purl Super Easy Baby Blanket made with Dream in Color Classy and Malabrigo Rios – very soft and cozy, and BRIGHT! I knew the acres of garter stitch would take forever, so I started it 6 months before she was due, and finished 2 weeks before she was born.

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December baby booties  in a peach angora blend fabric. I think I’m allergic to angora as it made me sneeze a lot, but the finished product is fluffy and very sweet!

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Newborn baby hat – she wore this in the hospital and it still fits now (she’s 4 weeks old). Its made with Rowan Purelife Organic cotton DK.  I don’t enjoy working with cotton but this was quite soft.

There are a few more projects to show but this is already a mammoth post so I’ll save those for later. I’m now enjoying doing some selfish knitting for a change 🙂

HST Mini Quilt and LMQG May Meeting

We had our May LMQG  meeting today, and our ‘Show and Tell’ homework was to prepare our mini quilts on the theme of modern quilting, with the opportunity to exhibit at John Lewis in Oxford Street for the 12 favourites as voted by members.

I had the idea of using my Little Folks voile and Kona coal to make a half square triangle quilt. I once bought a whole pile of precut squares but unfortunately they were not cut accurately so they were no use for a charm square quilt which is what I had originally planned (fortunately the seller refunded me).  I love some of the HST mini quilts I’ve seen on Flickr and recently read about this technique which I used to make the quilt. I decided to iron the triangles instead of marking the diagonal lines, as it was faster and more accurate for me.  The finished squares were a bit smaller than expected so I ended up making 64 squares to create this 12×12″ mini quilt.

The finished mini quilt. I originally planned to quilt the horizontal lines too but undid all the stitches as I felt the diagonals looked better.

Michael has some convenient hooks in his shop the perfect size for hanging mini quilts, so I tested the effect!

Tricolette is full of wonderful yarn as well as fabric, I have my eye on the Rowan Fine Lace. I just ended up with a few purple and orange fat quarters for my Patchwork Prism quilt. 

We also had a haberdashery swap and I ended up with a lovely selection of buttons, bobble trim (which I LOVE!) and some fabric.

Just a quick reminder about the LMQG giveawayGlenroy Designs are giving away some beautiful Laura Gunn fabric and there is just time to enter still!

London Modern Quilt Guild :: April Meeting

I recently found out about the London Modern Quilt Guild – I had looked for something similar a year or two ago when the original MQG was set up, but there wasn’t anything UK-based at the time. So I was really excited about joining when I found out about the group, which first met in January this year.

The challenge for this month was to make a wonky block – and this is my contribution – lots of bright cheerful colours! It was really nice to see everyone’s versions – as well as their WIPs – it was inspiring.

Aneela Hoey also came as a surprise guest – I enjoyed learning more about the design process and the challenges of quilting in a family home. I’m also now tempted to go and get some of her ‘A Walk in the Woods’ and ‘Little Apples’ collections, so cute 🙂

A burger from B98 made a perfect (albeit delayed!) lunch and then there was just time for some paper piecing from Danielle and a browse in Tricolette before it was time to go home.

In other news, my Tova is coming along very nicely, and should be finished soon. The Nani iro fabric is beautiful and soft, perfect for summer.

Lilac Baby Dress

This dress, from Anna Maria Horner’s Handmade Beginnings book, amazingly only took one day to cut out and make. It would have taken even less time if I hadn’t messed up and cut out a smaller pattern piece for the skirt thus running out of fabric and having to patch together pieces the right size for the back!

The fabric is Little Folks, the line I used for this quilt (which is basically finished, I will photograph soon!). It’s ideal for making baby clothes, as its so light and silky, but at the same time machine washable. I thought about lining the skirt too but I’m happy with the unlined original version too. It would be cute with a tulle lining too.

I learned how to do French seams which I had been needlessly worried about – I think I had been mixing them up with Hong Kong seams (where bias tape is used to cover the raw edges) and also attaching elastic to the waist using zigzag stitch.