Friday, 16 August 2013

Whim 12: Fruit Coasters

A trial here: Fruit coasters (Kiwi, Lemon, Strawberry and Watermelon) 
Varying success here I think, I like various parts of them and think they are pretty cute -but don't think they work well as a set - as the strawberry and watermelon look simpler than the other two. 
They were also very hard to sew - due to a terrible decision of mine to use fleece inside them instead of proper wadding. 
I am now thinking how I can improve them!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Whim 11 - Clamshell bag: 2

Another go at the Clamshell Bag. This time I altered a few things and I am much more pleased with the result. 

I love the mixture of the fabric too - An Amy Butler print and a green tweed-like fabric I saved from an old coat of mine. This picture shows the main fabric of the coat cut open:  

 A pretty good upcycle - even if I do say so myself!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Whim 10: Fabric Challenge 1, part 2 - Clamshell bag

Part 2 of today's fabric challenge completed and here is the result - I'm calling it the "clamshell" bag because it has a puffed circular bottom. This isn't strictly a tutorial post as the tutorial I followed ( is from a Dutch site and as the tutorial is in a PDF I couldn't translate it - I used the couple of pictures available to start me off and then made the rest of the process up.  The pattern was also for a really small childs bag and I wanted this to be bigger so I drafted my own pattern. 
The result is pretty successful although there are several things I will change before I make this again to try  and perfect it:

Body:   I think the sides are a bit wide so I will make it slimmer and slightly longer in the body - and secondly I will make a separate pattern for the front  (the tutorial used the same for front and back) so that I can dip the front edge to make it easier to get things out of the bag and for the flap to close more smoothly.
Button Fastening: Before I made the bag I thought I would have a buttonhole on the flap that went directly onto the main part of the bag. However when I had made the bag up I decided that there was too much space under the flap and to move the button underneath. This meant that I had to sew the button fastening to the already sewn together flap - rather than placing it into the seam (see diagram), leaving me with a small patch inside the flap - this looks ok, but is not ideal. 

Whim 10: Fabric Challenge 1. - Open wide Zippered Pouch (take 2)

Today a fabric challenge - two different items made using the same recycled fabric. The fabric I am using comes from a pair of French Connection trousers I found in a charity shop about 8 years ago. They were 4 sizes too small so I never imagined wearing them- I just fell in love with the fabric. I have never really found a use for them though so today I decided to just go for it. Here is the first item - another zip pouch (see whim 3) as I also wanted to practice making another of these cute little pouches.  

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Whim 9: Sewing Tidy/Case/Roll

Today brings this whim to conclusion, I have been trying to figure it out for a couple of days - It looks simple enough but with quilting, binding, zips and fastenings, it's actually been quite tricky to work out the best order to do things in. I am pretty pleased with the result though. I love some of the fabric - the main pattern on the front is an Amy Butler print that I found recently in a sale and the blue polka dot I printed myself.
The best thing about it is the feel that you get when you hold it - because the inside has been quilted with some condensed wadding to give it weight and depth - unfortunately I can't reproduce that feeling in pictures!
It was quite difficult to decide what pockets and spaces would be needed in the holder, and I looked at various existing designs for some ideas. I'm still not sure if I've got it right - guess I need to test it to be sure!

Whim 8: Scallop Tote Bag

This is actually something I did a few months ago, but I thought it would be nice to post as the tutorial is brilliant and the bag turned out pretty fab. The tutorial can be found here and it's got loads of pictures and a pattern. It was really quite easy and the scallop shape was easier to get right than I thought it would be. The hardest part was choosing the right sequence of fabric.  I decided to go for a blue/green/brown  theme rather than the more multicoloured ones on the tutorial pictures - only because I was using all found/ recycled materials and it can be quite hard to match the tones.

I love the result - the only thing I would change if I did it again would be to finish the edges of the seams fixing the scallops to the bag. Ok, they can't usually be seen, but it wouldn't feel right e.g. giving the bag as a gift, with unfinished edges.

Whim 7: Postage Stamp Brooches

so...uh, what more do I need to say? These are felt brooches, hand embroidered and inspired by vintage stamps. Some are more accurate to the originals that others, but all are based on real stamp designs. E.g.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Whim 6 continued: Mr Whiskers and Friends

Following on from my previous posts here is a picture of all of the cat cushions I have made this week -I had quite a lot of felted jumpers and I wanted to experiment with the design. Therefore they have range of colours, eyes and fabric - all I discovered was that there is no right and wrong - I love them all! Each one I make quickly becomes my new favourite!

Whim 6: Mr Whiskers

I've been away at my parents house for a week or so, but that does not mean I have been idle - in fact i've been busier than ever. Here is the first of a few posts to showcase what I've been up to. Meet Mr Whiskers!

He is a very cuddly cat cushion who is made from my stash of old felted wool jumpers that I have collected over the years. This particular wool has felted very well so it is very thick and heavy, which makes Mr Whiskers particularly lovely to hug. He is 100% hand stitched, with a wool blanket stitch around the edge, button eyes and is stuffed with quilt wadding as I had a huge bag left from recent quilting endeavours.