Hot on the tails of using up remnants of fabric from my stash, I used some leftovers from other projects to recycle/refresh/renew two pairs of bathroom mules.
The originals were purchased from The White Company several years ago. I notice that the current mules offered on the site have changed and they now have a hard sole as opposed to the thin ’embossed plastic’ that is on my current ones.
Both pairs are made from the Duck Egg Blue background remnants of a Superking-sized duvet cover originally purchased from Dunelm and made up into nightdresses, dressing gown, toilet and cosmetic pouches. I am an avid coordinator!
For the first pair, which have previously been ‘refreshed’ several times, I quilted in a diagonal grid. The bonus for this particular pair is that they are ‘unifoot’ in that they can be worn on either foot.
The second pair are newer and have been re-designed by The White Company. Now there is a definite left and right mule and the instep pattern piece has been extended so that there is less chance of the mule slipping off your foot. The second pair has the quilting in a square grid.
I love these mules as they are so comfortable and just right for use in the bathrooms when walking on the cold floors.
About 15-20 years ago I used to enjoy making soft-bodied porcelain dolls and dressing them. Although most of the dolls have gone on to new homes, there are still a few that I have kept. When trying to get some order in the chaos that is my stash of fabrics I came across a pattern and a ready-cut-out dress for an 18 inch doll.
As two of my dolls were in dire need of new ‘frocks’ this seemed like a good opportunity to get at least one of them made up.
I have used this pattern as a starting point for many dolls clothes. Although working on a very small scale the sewing is straightforward and fairly easy to complete.
Stitching this dress was a pleasure and made for a very nice change to the trouser-making that is my current project. The seam allowance for dolls clothes making is 1/4 inch and most was sewn on my sewing machine with a little seam neatening by zi-zag stitching or on the overlocker. There are three buttons and buttonholes on the back bodice which makes it easy to dress the doll.
Now at least one of the ‘girls’ has a new dress, I will have to find some fabric for the other so that she does not become jealous!
Many, many years ago I knitted my one and only pair of handmade socks. I used a fine yarn and a set of 4 needles. The pair took a very long time to make! Using a FREE PDF pattern from Ellie & Mac made my first pair of fabric socks in less than 1/2 an hour! The socks are a great way to use scraps and perfect for giving! The pattern includes sizes for kids and adults.
My first trial pair were made using a scrap of cotton jersey left over from a nightdress commission and had minimum stretch. Although the pattern actually calls for a 50% stretch, these still fit although a little over-stretched across the instep. (Completed 20th December 2020)
For the second pair I used some leftover cotton/spandex jersey bought from New Threads from which I had made KWIK SEW 3915 Top for a friend’s Christmas Gift. This pair are good but I think in future I will increase the length of the cuffing as otherwise I may get an indentation on my ankle.
The next pair were made from a remnant of Viscose Jersey bought from a shop in the Goldhawk Road and made into a Moneta dress. This is the most ‘stretchy’ of the fabrics I have used so far but also has a slightly synthetic feel so still not absolutely 10 out of 10.
For now I am leaving the socks behind whilst I get on with the ‘Jane’ pinafore dress that has been waiting in the wings for ages!
Projects: #77,78,79 finally completed 21st December 2020
I still make just a few handmade gifts for family and friends at Christmas. This year I admit that I left it quite late!
Firstly was a redwork embroidered cushion using linen from my stash, embroidery motifs purchased from emblibrary.com and finished with some red satin piping. I hand embroidered the running stitch circle enclosing the various motifs. This cushion was wrapped and posted to my pen pal in Germany. Apparently it arrived before the gifts that I had posted to UK recipients on the same day! But at least they did all arrive before Christmas.
Next I made a scented hanger in Christmas printed cotton that I then filled with a sachet of Christmas scents. The aroma was so strong that even when wrapped there was a powerful clue as to what was contained.
The final gift for a neighbour was a padded coat hanger cover and co-ordinating fabric scented hangers. The fabric came from a stash of fat quarters that I bought several years ago. The scented hangers were ‘essence of Provence’ which I thought was a good choice to match the style of the printed cotton fabric. The cover is made so that one can put items inside. An ideal storage for co-ordinating jewellery, scarves or tights for whichever garment is on the hanger.
Projects #73-74-75 All these items were completed by 16th December 2020
Well that is something that I never thought I would sew! A call has gone out and ladies (and gents) throughout the land are putting their sewing skills to good use and making Scrubs for our stars in the NHS.
I was fortunate to receive an e-mail from Franklins with an offer for the pattern and a kit of suitable Polyester/cotton fabric, interfacing and twill tape for just £20. I chose the Dark Navy colour and within a couple of days the parcel arrived.
It took a few more days (well in truth – a week) for me to put together the pattern and finish the current project (yet another TNT ‘Kitty’ dress) before I could re-thread the sewing machine and overlocker in preparation of making the Scrubs.
In the end I chose to make the set using the PDF pattern supplied by Sewmesomething.
Sew me something state: After speaking with friends who are NHS workers we have included several features they specifically requested. The Scrubs Top has grown on sleeves to make it easier to wear and quicker to sew, the facing is stitched down so it’s not uncomfortable and there are side vents again for ease and comfort. The trousers have side pockets and a drawstring waist so you don’t have to worry about elastic sizes, and they are easier to get on and off. The patch pocket can be used on both the Top and the Trousers so again, quicker to sew and it means there are lots of handy places to tuck stuff. Polycotton is apparently better than 100% cotton, so we have some in stock to use for this pattern.
Sewing was straightforward and when in doubt I could easily tune to the Youtube tutorial prepared by Jules of SMS.
As I had plenty of fabric, I elected to make the largest size XXL which comes out as a 57 inch chest on the tunic and 54 inch hip for the trousers, leg width 12 inches. A couple of sessions of sewing and the set was completed.
Although I had an address for the hospital in Southampton I also joined a facebook group based on Salisbury which is a great deal closer to my home. After some messaging I was able to arrange for the set to be collected for onward transmission to the Salisbury hospitals and health centres. I hope that whoever gets to wear them enjoys them whilst staying healthy providing the essential care and support that the NHS provides to us all.
Now that I have the pattern, if I have sufficient yardage in my stash I hope to make some smaller-sized sets in cheerful printed fabrics.
When these extraordinary times are behind us, I may well make up the tunic and trousers in my husband’s and my size to wear as pyjamas!
recently attended a Sewcial Retreat arranged by Viv of Purple
Stitches, a Patchwork & Quilting store based in Basingstoke. This
is the second time that I have attended the Retreat which is held at
a the VOCO Oxford Thames hotel on the outskirts of the city.
time I was joined on the retreat by my good friend Pat so was able to
share the journey and accommodation.
of the activities is a Secret Sister gift making and sharing. This
time the project was a pin cushion and having checked out the
instagram feed of my selected partner I made the pin cushion in her
favourite colour and featuring her favourite pet – a cat.
Jackie was delighted with her gift as was I with my reversible Bicornu pin cushion.
Whilst at the retreat I was able to make three garments and undertake a new technique – ‘Quilt as You Go’ more posts later…..
on a roll of gift-making I thought I would make another Luna Lapin.
This time I used some Pale Grey felt plus some spare pieces of
quilting weight cotton print from a charm pack for the insides of the
ears and soles of the feet.
Luna came together very quickly and despite the fact that I always
avoid hand stitching as much as possible, actually enjoyed the
completed Luna, I took the time to add a fluffy tail to her and the
previous iteration using a pom-pom maker. I have never used this item
before and it certainly made pom poms very quick and easy to produce.
I still have to make clothes so both ‘girls’ are currently naked.
later changed my mind about giving this Luna as a gift, in the
meantime she shares a place on the pillow of the spare bed with the
first Luna and my ancient Teddy Bear!
I felt in need of a simple sew before embarking on the next dressmaking project. I had a couple of ‘laundry’ related printed fat quarters in my stash and was inspired by an article in an old sewing magazine to sew a fabric bin.
A great quick and easy sewing project, this mini laundry bin was completed within an hour. The bin is lined with car headliner foam (an alternative to Bosal foam) which makes it self-supporting. The bin has a diameter of approximately 10 inches and stands about 12 inches high. Just the right height to stand on the work surface and beneath the wall cabinets.
addition to our utility room. This is a handy storage bin for hand
towels and tea towels prior to loading the washing machine.
is a similar bin to use for glass awaiting a trip to the re-cycling
It is now
almost one month since I joined the coach trip to visit the Festival
of Quilts at the NEC, Birmingham. I visited with my friend Pat and we
were joined at the Festival by another friend who had travelled from
Chiswick. We all had a great day and for once the weather was
There were so many quilts and shopping opportunities, I did not really know where to start. In the end, we started with the shopping – no change there then. I had a list – I did not stick to it!
From the Fabrics Galore stand I bought another 2 metres of my favourite Frida Kahlo printed cotton which is destined to be a simple shift dress to showcase the design.
I also bought 4 metres of an unnamed cotton lawn at the bargain price of just £6/metre which has since been made up into my second version of Vogue 8577.
Lewis & Irene stand I collected some free patchwork patterns, and
a hug from one of the owners of the company (he remembered me from a
talk where I had worn a dress in Lewis & Irene print fabric)!
On to the Thimbles stand which I visited twice. On the first visit I bought some leaf print (Monstera Deliciosa) which I intend to make up into a bag.
The second visit I bought this beautiful Tapestry-style fabric with Roses plus 4 lengths of faux leather with a snakeskin finish.
The Roses and Red faux leather will be made up into a Companion Carpet Bag (pattern by Mrs H).
I have already sewn some of the Gold finish as an accent on a pouch (detailed post coming shortly) and I have plans for several new style bags which will utilise the Black & Navy-coloured faux leathers.
After a break for lunch (a very tasty Haloumi salad) we viewed a few more of the many, many quilts before returning to the shopping hall. We visited the Sewing Quarter stand where I had the opportunity to chat to John Scott – what a lovely man.
We then visited Rosenberg & Sons’ stand. I was ‘persuaded’ to buy some beautiful boiled wool in Blue to make a jacket (Simplicity 4032) and a remnant of Mustard boiled wool to make a ‘hack’ waistcoat/vest from the same pattern.
break for afternoon tea and a further browse of the quilts before a
rest and relaxation whilst we waited for the coach and journey home.
I loved my
visit (not sure my credit card was as keen) although I did find it
very tiring. Bearing in mind the size of my fabric stash (I swear the
fabrics reproduce overnight) and lack of resistance when it comes to
fabric buying, perhaps I should refrain from attending any more shows
for a while until I have reduced my ‘stock’ and the bank account has
I am often inspired by my stitching friends and on this occasion I was delighted to meet Luna Lapin made by Maureen. Apparently this charming felt rabbit is all over the internet and even has her own facebook page.
My friend loaned me her copy of the book that is complete with full-size patterns. I ordered up some wool felt and as soon as it arrived I was off!
I am not known for a love of hand sewing but I really enjoyed stitching Luna and am very pleased with the result. Currently she is naked (gasp!) but I do plan to make a set of clothes to be topped off by the Pale Blue coat featured on the cover of the book. There will also be the pretty comfy armchair, instructions for which are included in the book.
I hope to make her friend – Alfie who, together with his wardrobe of clothes, is also featured in the book.