Craft, sewing

New Sheets

D-Day for Bump’s arrival is getting ever closer. We’ve confirmed with the consultants that I shall be induced a few days before the due date. This is due to my age. Even though all of the growth scans look perfect and Bump is wriggling around like a mad thing statistics support the routine inducement of women over 40 years at or just before term. It seems that going over the chances of something going drastically wrong rises sharply. From my perspective, we get to meet Bump earlier and hopefully she’ll be a few grams lighter and thus easier.

Anyway, this week appears to be nesting week. We’ve started with setting up the crib. In the end we went for a simple swinging crib. When ordering the crib I naturally looked to order some sheets for it as well. Seems the going rate is £15 for two fitted sheets. Meanwhile the going rate for a doona (duvet) cover and pillowcase cover for Katja is about £30. It’s utter madness and there’s no way I’m spending more on sheets for the girls than I do on sheets for myself.

Aldi was selling sheets last weekend, so I popped in and grabbed a single set for £8. (I also spent £2 on elastic) Yesterday I got to work on them. I laid the doona cover on the floor and Katja’s existing one over the top, matching up one of the corners. I then cut out the size leaving about 1 inch on the side and two inches along the top as seam allowances.

Next I sewed up the side seam, just a simple straight seam and overedged with zigzag. I folded over the end and sewed that with a straight stitch and then sewed it together leaving a gap of about 40cm in the middle to allow for the doona to be placed inside. At this point I could have added a couple of buttonholes and then buttons but so far I haven’t bothered (yes I know, I’m lazy). Toddler doona cover done.

The pillow case was easier. I lined the edge up with the open end of the pillowcase – this meant that I could take advantage of the folded over bit in the original. I then cut to size, sewed up with straight stitches and overedged. Fits her mini pillow perfectly.

Next I moved on to the crib sheets. Using the left overs from the single doona cover I cut out two pieces the same size as the crib mattress according to the instructions on Cintia’s blog MyPoppet. It was incredibly simple and took less than an hour to make up both sheets.

So all in all, £10 spent and £35 saved – and even better I’ve got much much prettier sheets than any I’ve seen at those silly prices. I call this a win, in fact I’m dead chuffed with myself for this project.

Katja, Parenthood, sewing

Katja’s First Halloween Costume

When I picked Katja up from nursery last week there was a little slip of paper waiting for me. It announced that on the 31st they would like it if kids could turn up in a costume.

Now a 16 month old child going to nursery during a bitterly cold day in Edinburgh is going to need to be warm, so that’s my first requirement. The next is no attachments – it’s hard enough keeping a bib on her, a hat is impossible and wings/extra legs would be a nightmare.
No problem, I thought, with all the supermarkets here that sell quite decent kids clothes it should be a simple matter of pop down and pick up something cute.

Well, more fool me – it turns out that as soon as a child grows out of the very first pumpkin sleep suit it’s on to adult style costumes. Here’s a few of the boys’ costumes:

boys

They’re all practical, they’re all ghoulish as you’d expect from halloween.

Now, let’s take a look at the selection offered for girls:

girls

With any of these, MissK will be freezing! Plus hats and wings, not going to stay on so a waste of effort. They all look remarkably like the “sexy ___” variety of costumes that you find for adults and quite frankly I’m underwhelmed.

So, I did some searching online and came up with a few options – ladybird was a good one, as was cat or skeleton, but they all require black suits and black is a lot harder to get for toddler girls than insipid pink. I also found a post that showed little girls dressed as female scientists (sorry can’t locate the links now but if I do I’ll add them in the comments). Trouble with that is that noone of Katja’s generation is going to understand who Ada Lovelace was and there’s no way I could get her hair like that yet.

And then it hit me – Nina and the Neurons!

This is a TV show on CBeebies fronted by Nina, an outgoing, cheery neuroscientist who works at the Glasgow Science Centre. She loves experimenting and finding the answer to everyday questions with the help of her five animated neurons. Katja seems to like the show and the songs and Nina is dressed so practically. And so I set about making up a quick and dirty Nina and the Neurons costume and this is how I did it:

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First things first, I bought a sleep suit in plain white for 6 months older than Katja is now, I was after deliberately too big for her.

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Next, I cut the suit just above the crotch buttons and hemmed using a zig zag stitch. No need to be too fabulous, this is not likely to be worn beyond one day and there’s no prizes for best finished costume. I also cut off one of the feet to make a little pocket and cut off the ends of the sleeves.

I had some brightly coloured fabric from previous projects, so I cut some strips of that to make a pocket top and cuffs. To be honest it would have been a much neater job if I’d managed to find the right ribbon. Another alternative would have been to draw decorations on the top to match Nina’s.

I coloured in the buttons with various permanent markers to hand (again, doesn’t have to last) and I was done.

This morning all I had to do was dress her in her usual skinny jeans, tights and a brightly coloured tshirt then put on the “lab coat” and put her hair in bunches (that was the hardest part!) and we were done.

Naturally madam was far too busy to stop and pose for photographs, there’s a lab to get cleaned up you know! I’m quite chuffed with the result.

Craft, Crochet, Knitting, sewing, Tatting

WIPS Whipped

I’ve had a particularly productive few of weeks here. I’ve managed to finished 4 projects!

There’s not one but two hats for my brand new niece. A Yoda hat and a viking hat.

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As well as a cowl, which is yet to be photographed and my first ever pair of socks.

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So what do you do when you’ve finished a project? Cast on another of course! I’ve cast on another cowl – both cowls will get sent to their intended victims recipients at the same time. I’ve also wound the yarn for a carnaby skirt but so far have resisted casting it on. And I’ve decided on a pattern for my next pair of socks, again resisting the urge to cast on just yet (have to choose the yarn anyway).

This leaves me with 4 and a half current fibre WIPs (the half has been on hold for over 2 years and I’m debating whether or not to frog or to try to salvage by combining what I’ve done so far with another pattern…) I mentioned this fact on twitter today and was promptly labelled a lightweight. I didn’t mention the two sewing WIPs, I don’t think that would have improved my standing! Apparently the grown up knitters have oodles of WIPs, which I find stressful just thinking about although it must be said that one of the grown up knitters I know is craft-monogamous.

I started out being craft-monogamous myself, only allowing one WIP per craft. I found that it helped me to get things finished as I was hitting the boredom slump and the other patterns started to call my name. Eventually I relented, I think it was when I realised that the can’t start until I’ve finished was sapping some of the fun as I doggedly avoided the project-from hell yet couldn’t start the next one. Boy was that a slippery slope! Still I try to stem the tide by searching for the next pattern, that tends to kill an hour or so of cast-on itch.

So how about you? Are you craft-monogamous or WIP happy? How many WIPs do you have on the go? Any chance you’ll ever finish them?

Craft, Crochet, Knitting, sewing

WIP Wednesday #11

In my last post I talked about the fact that I’ve got 5 projects on the go at the moment. Today I’m going to give a little round-up of where I’m at with the 3 that are actively being worked on.

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Cardigan
The cardigan has progressed rather nicely. I’m deep into the lace section, however it’s not been without its frustrations. This is largely due to not paying attention. I’ve found myself having to rip back a number of rows of lace and pick up to correct a rather hideous miscount. Was quite chuffed that not only did I pick up the right number of stitches but I’d also managed to pick up the last row of a repeat. Neat! One and a bit repeats later and I discovered a missed psso from three rows down – this time I’ve managed to drop back down and shimmy the yarn back into place. Was hoping to get this one finished for Saturday, will most likely be a few days late. The pick above was taken when the lace section was half the length it is now. Another 3 inches of lace and we’ll be ready to move onto the arms.

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Pond Stacker
The pond stacker is a base that looks like a pond, with a stem that looks like a frog and then three rings to fit over the stem. I’ve finished the bee and ladybird, am almost done with the stem and base which I’ve put on hold until I can make sure they’ll be te right size for all three rings. Next up is the dragonfly. These have turned out rather larger than I expected, but Katja is showing interest in them. I’ve also put bells and rattles into the rings. These must be finished by Friday night!

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First socks
My socks have slowed right down. Somehow the prospect of knitting until the end is not as enticing as the challenge of getting the heel done. They’re currently my bus knitting.

 

260756_900_1So that’s what’s on the needles and hook at the moment.

 

But there’s another project that needs doing and for that I’d love some ideas from you. I picked up a lovely new lightweight/spring jacket the last time I was in Germany and, well, it’s a tad boring for me! I’d love any ideas you have for how to brighten it up a bit. It’s made of microfibre so has a matt finish. There’s some stitching on it on the back that is the bright red Maier logo and the buttons are a gunmetal grey. There’s no hood and the zipper releases at both ends.

Ideas in the comments please!

 

Craft, Finished Projects, sewing

Fancy New Nappy Bag

kersti.com bag

 

I’m so proud of my new nappy bag, just have to show it off! I started this one before Christmas and it’s sat there, mostly done, while I tried to figure out how to finish it. Finally yesterday I got it sorted. Granted it’s not professional-quality finished, but then I’m not exactly trying to sell it and I’ll never make another.

There’s so many lovely nappy (for Americans a nappy is a diaper) bags out there but they cost a fortune. Most have heaps of little pockets and matching change mats and the like. But at the end of the day you just need a bag to carry stuff, trying to figure out which pocket you put your keys in when you have a crying baby and you’re standing in front of your door in the pouring rain is not fun and I’m convinced it’s no quicker than just rummaging in a large sack anyway.

Typical me, most of the bags were also not quite right – the ones with great designs and nifty features tended to be horrid colours and those with the nice colours were ghastly expensive or impractical. Hence the genius idea of making my own.

I started off with this tutorial from Feather’s Flights and made a few mods, most I gleaned from other tutorials along the way. As I wanted to change the dimensions I had to start with a fair bit of working out and measuring and to be honest it *IS* a little big! Since I started we’ve managed to really par down the amount of stuff we travel with, but a big bag will never go astray – I can carry of of my stuff along with Katja’s in this one. I made it as wide as the pram.

The button is a gorgeous 3-piece affair I picked up in Fulda while we were there for Christmas, the colour matches in perfectly. The fabric is curtain fabric from Laura Ashley which I got on sale. Even so I reckon this bag came in at the same price as a reasonably expensive shop bought one.

This bag was fiddly to make, every pocket is lined, most pieces are interfaced plus there’s wadding used to give additional body to the bag walls and a mass of top-stitching. Given that I’ve never had a sewing lesson in my life I was really flying by the seat of my pants here!

I’m totally chuffed with the results and looking forward to many years of use even after I nolonger need to carry nappies about.

My Week in Pictures, sewing

Week 12.51 – Birthday week!

Week 51 is from 17th to 23rd December and it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, it’s also my birthday week when Flo and Juli came to visit. Incidentally, the Mayan calendar stopped so the world was also supposed to “end” on the 21st.

Christmas greenery

20121218 – Christmas greenery

My family is awesome - love you all so much!  #shiny #tiffanys #birthday

20121221 – My family is awesome – love you all so much! #shiny #tiffanys #birthday

Sorry Marvin, no apocalypse here!

20121221 – Sorry Marvin, no apocalypse here!

Ooh thumb - nomnom!

20121222 – Ooh thumb – nomnom!

Trying to add zip but bias tape too narrow and can't seem to make it work - doing my head in!

20121222 – Trying to add zip but bias tape too narrow and ca’t seem to make it work – doing my head in!

Craft, sewing

Japanese Knot Bag

I’ve been looking to make one of these for a little while and stumbled across some gorgeous fabric at a ridiculous price while out and about a few weeks ago. Today I finally got around to making my Japanese Knot Bag.

I used this pattern but changed the dimensions, partly because I wanted something slightly bigger than they had in the picture and partly because I don’t have a printer so couldn’t print out the pattern pieces. I used a bowl for the base and then calculated the size of the two main pieces using our old friend PI. Luckily Katja is fascinated by me sewing because I didn’t quite get it finished before she woke up from her morning nap.

I’m particularly chuffed that I made the effort to seek out this part of the fabric for the base section – love that flower! Looks awesome when the flower is on the outside or the inside.

And look at how much it holds. That’s my current project which is a baby blanket, plus three balls of yarn and my stupidly large notions tin. There’s room for more too.

And when I get bored, I can simply turn it around.

Can you tell that I’m happy with this project? I hope so cos I really am! I couldn’t even wait until tomorrow to show you for Finished Friday. I can see a lot more knot bags in my future…