Friday, 25 May 2012

Five Things for Friday: Why Yes, I Still Sew Sometimes

I am blog-hopping with Women in the Scriptures again!


Linus Quilts

Although I still enjoy quilting, I haven't been doing much of it. I'd like to blame my laziness on the kids and home education and my husband's work schedule, but to be perfectly honest it's just a lack of interest. That old scanner personality type rearing its ugly head again! (As an aside, someone recently trotted out the maxim, "Jack of all trades, Master of none" as if it was a bad thing. I thought it sounded like an interesting life choice!)

But I am changing that stance and starting to make quilts for a charity called Project Linus UK. It is an amazing charity that depends on various people to make quilts of all sizes for sick or endangered children (ie, teenage mothers and their babies in social care). They distribute quilts to the babies in NICU, kids recovering from cancer or undergoing treatment; the list goes on.

What an amazing organisation!

My church is doing a big charity day in June, and one of the projects is to simply sew quilts all day long. I am so excited! I have already started on one quilt top, but it needs finishing off. I must get cracking on it, because I want to have at least one completed quilt to take with me to the event. 

Toddlers are good helpers...


Recent Skirts

Back at the beginning of May, Heather at Women in the Scriptures issued a challenge: Wear a dress of skirt every day for the month of May. I had been thinking of wearing more skirts recently, but not exactly for the reasons listed in the official rules....

I pretty much hate wearing jeans these days. Trousers are just about passable, but anything with even a small amount of spandex in the fabric (a lot of jeans are 97% cotton and 3% spandex or similar) tend to fit GREAT straight out of the wash, but by the end of the day they are constantly slipping down.

Very annoying.

As a result of my frustration, I started wearing skirts more frequently. They don't slip and fall the way jeans do, and as long as they are long enough, they are just as comfortable and easy to throw on as any pair of jeans or trousers.

I talked about this skirt last week, but here it is again. I got the pattern here:

This skirt has a shirred waist (oh how I despise shirring, although the end result is cute) and awesome pockets. The fabric was an eBay cheapie, but I think it's polyester. It is double sided, with the back half a much darker grey (there is also a lighter grey stripe running throughout). I bound the edges of the pockets with the back half of the fabric and turned the hem UP to get dark grey at the bottom of the skirt, too. The waist is too big, a result of my terrible math skills or measuring skills or the very narrow elastic I decided to use in the waist. Probably all 3, really. The skirt hits below the knee and is very comfy, if worryingly close to being pulled straight off when my toddler tugs on it.

Next up is my Sound of Music skirt:

I don't have a tutorial to link to, because I basically copied a skirt I already owned that was a bunch of rectangles and triangles sewn together. (I also mentioned this last week) I had the brilliant idea of turning the fabric the opposite direction for the triangles, which in my head sounded AWESOME but in practice just looks kinda "Meh."

The reason I call it my Sound of Music skirt is that I'm pretty sure the fabric I used is either curtain material or couch covering. I won't be wearing this one to church, is all I'm saying.

And finally, I am planning on making this sort of skirt, with this tablecloth:

Literally all I have to do is whack off the right amount of fabric for the waist and sew elastic on. The tablecloth is already a perfect circle, and the scalloped edges are hemmed in white thread. Perfect!

I will soon be wearing nothing but clothes made out of household items. Maybe this dress next?


Wearing a Sheet

I also made a dress! I know, I said I wasn't interested in dresses because they aren't breastfeeding friendly (I have to hoik this one up from the hem to get the job done) but when I saw this pattern, I couldn't resist trying. It looks so breezy and floaty and summery! Pretty pretty!

I bought a vintage flat sheet off eBay, and my husband was less than enthusiastic.

Him: "You're going to wear a sheet?"

Me: "Yes, husband. It is the done thing on many blogs."

Him: "??"

Me: "You don't think it's cute?"

Him: "I think you look like you're wearing a sheet, but it's your choice...."

Here is the finished product:

Perhaps I'm blinkered, but I don't think it looks terribly like a sheet. I mean, perhaps it has a sheet-ish quality to it, but nothing the screams "now my kids have nothing to sleep on tonight". 

There were plenty of hiccups on the way to making this dress. Firstly, the bodice didn't fit over my bust (a common theme in my life, sigh), so I had to add more fabric at the last minute:

The bonus of working with a sheet as your fabric is that the edges are hemmed. So that additional piece between the crossover was just sewn in place with no extra work involved. Sweet!

Unfortunately, the pockets weren't so easy to fix:

My hand doesn't actually fit inside them! Sheesh. Why didn't I test that before sewing the dress?! I shall have to unpick a lot of seams to fix that, so I haven't done it yet. I need to, though, because pockets in a dress are Required.

There is plenty to like about the dress, though. It is looooong. I love that it hits the tops of my feet!

I made the sleeves a bit longer than the pattern required, which makes it more comfortable for me to wear. I also didn't shirr the waist (blech!) but it definitely needs a little something around the waistline, so I think I'll get some contrasting fabric and make a shirred belt thingie. Shirring a loop of fabric will be a lot easier than shirring a lined dress.

I could also do with the waist of the dress being a bit looser. It's very fitted, which is fine (it's not uncomfortably tight or anything) but not my preference overall.

I will definitely try to make another one, with a different sheet! Hopefully I can use the adjustments I made as I went along with this dress to alter the second one without any hiccups at all. We'll see how that goes.


Kindle Case

If I can make something, I'd rather do that than buy it. It's usually cheaper that way, and I can make it just how I want it.

So, when I got a Kindle for my birthday, I set about looking for a nice case. They cost half as much as the Kindle itself! Okay, not really, but a quarter of the cost, easily.

No thanks!

So I dug out some old leather that I bought last year when I wanted to make shoes for my baby (I never got around to it) and the leather hole-puncher device, some semi-matching fleece and thick blue thread.


The triangles of leather keep the Kindle in place

The shorter side is folded first; it also has a "button" on the edge

Folded, ready for buttoning

My leather "button" and loop system. The button is just a
small strip of  leather wound around itself to make a ball

A closeup of the edge stiching

Not as neat as I would like, but punching those holes out was killer!


Sewing a Hexagon Quilt

I'm still sewing those hexies, from time to time! Here are some flowers that recently grew:

Oh, little scrappy hexagon flowers sure do make me happy, but this one with the doe in the middle is just the cutest. Isn't she sweet?

I have plenty more hexies to sew together....

...and thanks to a friend, I have even more scrappy material to work with! Hurray! 

This hexagon quilt is going to take an age to complete, but it is such a great project to bring with me when we are out and about. If the kids want to go to the park, I can sit on a nearby bench and sew a flower or two while they play. Perfect!

Whew, this has been a picture-heavy post. Have a great weekend!


funkyhan said...

Sarah, you are all kinds of awesome. That is all xxxx

Raisin4Cookies said...

Aaaawww! Thanks. You too! x

Mortons said...

Very Inspiring! I love that dress!!It's so perfect for this hot hot weather! Thank you for linking up project Linus, I know a few friends who would be interested in getting involved in something like that x

Raisin4Cookies said...

It's such a lovely little charity. I am really excited to be taking part in it.

The dress is great, but be careful of what fabric to use... I had to line it because it was a bit see-through, and as a result it isn't as airy and light as I had hoped!

Heather@Women in the Scriptures said...

Thanks for hanging in the five things when I have been so missing in action lately! I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE your projects. Those skirts look awesome. I am inspired, and I don't think your dress looks like a sheet at all. So beautiful!

Raisin4Cookies said...

Thanks Heather. :) I am trying to get in the habit of blogging again, so Five Things is a great way for me to keep at it. So thanks for instigating the whole thing!

Are you still wearing skirts, btw? x