Today I finished my godmother's bag and today is her actual birthday, but she won't be getting it for a while as she got a 3am flight to Portugal for a couple of weeks this morning! (it's alright for some!)
I am ridiculously pleased with how it turned out and want to take it everywhere with me just to show anyone who will look, so if she doesn't like it I will happily take it back!
So here are a couple of pictures of the finished item (it needs a good press but the iron is currently on strike so you will have to imagine no creases)
I really like the hand stitched spoked on the London Eye and the Mathmatical Bridge.
After finishing this bag I am thinking of other cities that I can make into a skyline. I have some friends still living in Lincoln (who I went to uni with) who have brought a house that they are doing up and I'm thinking a picture or cushion with the Lincoln skyline on as a present for them.
I also want to make an olympics and jubilee version for myself too! Now I just need to find some more hours in the day and all will be good!
Friday 4th May 2012
This post isn't technically something I finished this week. It is the finished cross-stitch of the 'Love' cushion front I was stitching earlier this year but I realised I hadn't yet shared with you the finished stitching (at least I don't remember posting about it)
The chart for it was in the very first issue of CrossStitcher I ever brought and was the one that drew me to it in the shop so I had to make it!
It isn't exactly as the chart says as I just used threads from my stash instead of the actual colours from the chart but they were pretty close.
There were a few details in the letters that I didn't notice until I was stitching it like the grapes inside the letter 'L'
I had a lot of issues with the 'O' for some reason. I kept making mistakes and I'm pretty sure even the finished version isn't correct to the chart but I couldn't be bothered to take it back anymore. This is probably why it took me so long to finish it.
I just need to find the perfect fabric for the back of the cushion cover now so I can sew it up. I haven't decided whether to keep it for myself or give it away as a present yet!
Friday 27th April
On Wednesday I went to see Phantom of the Opera in the West End. It was sooooooo good! It has never been a particularly favourite musical of mine but now it has certainly gone up in my list. Nothing will ever top Sound of Music though but this is definitely a top 5! Their voices were just so powerful it gave you goosebumps when they were singing.
For this weeks Finished Friday I have got the finished item for Popular Crafts Spring Swap. Popular Crafts is a magazine with lots of online forums about craft. Every month they have a craft swap with a different theme. I had seen some of the people I follow on Twitter talking about previous swaps and decided to take part in one to see what it was like. I sent in a request on the website and a few weeks later received the details of my swap partner.
The idea is that you make something with the theme of 'Spring' or whatever the theme for the swap is and then with it put in a gift to the value of £3.
I decided to cross-stitch a little picture of gingham flowers:
My ideas kept changing even as I stitched. I was planing on stitching a bouquet of different flowers but I like the gingham ones so much I decided they should all be the same.
For the gift I brought some really nice wooden plant markers and a few packets of seeds. One of my swap partners interests was gardening and I thought the gifts fitted in nicely with the theme of spring.
I enjoyed creating something for the swap but probably won't take part again. Mainly because I haven't received anything back from my swap partner which is a bit dissapointing.
Friday 20th April
I mentioned on my Work In Progress Wednesday post that I was making a friends son a birthday present of a sock monkey pirate and Peso the Penguin from Octonauts.
Well I have already finished them!
As I don't have any spare money at the moment I am having to make presents from bits and pieces I already have. I made a sock monkey a while ago to give to Euan as it went with a bed set a brought for him which has a monkey on it. The bedding is for a single bed though so I had to wait until he had a proper sized bed before giving it to him. He is 4 on St George's Day (23rd April) so I thought a sock monkey might be a bit young for him.
Then one of my crafty friends @birksyf mentioned that she was going to a pirate birthday party which reminded me of all the pirate parties we went to as kids and how much fun they were. So I decided to turn the sock monkey into a pirate sock monkey using bits of felt. I googled pirate sock monkey and found some pictures to base my monkey on and I really like how he has turned out (I'm sure Euan won't mind if I keep him for myself).
He has a hook for a hand and a peg leg, a belt with a banana in and a loot bag full of coins.
I like his little grin, it makes him look like a friendly pirate and an eye patch and skull and cross bones on his bandana, which was quite fiddly to sew on.
How well he has turned out has made me think of other ways I could dress sock monkeys up as different characters so they have a bit more personality but the other socks I have are definitely girly ones so I'm struggling for good ideas. But I'll see how well this little guy is received before I spend too much time thinking about it! I need to think of a name for him too...
Euan also loves a tv programme called Octonauts and is receiving various Octonauts themed toys from his grandparents for his birthday including one of the submarines they have. So another little thing I made was a Peso the Penguin little toy which I think I'm going to put on his card (but so he can be taken off again) out of felt. He is very cute and I had to restrain myself from making the whole gang- the card would have to be pretty massive to fit them all on!
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a really good week.
Friday 11th April
I am still feeling in the Easter mood and have been knitting some tiny easter bunnies this week.
I found a really cute free pattern on Mochimochi Land website which can be found here
It was my first attempt at knitting in the round, which is something I have been meaning to do for a while now. My Grandma brought me some DPNs that she found in a charity shop and I decided I would use this project to try them out instead of a bigger project like socks.
The DPNs are quite long though which proved a bit tricky with only 6 stitches on each needle but I managed it in the end and here is a finished bunny:
Aren't they just soooo cute! On the website people have knitted them in all colours and I'm a bit obsessed with knitting them now. I had to knit a friend for this one straight away.
I love how tiny and cute they are! I have also brought patterns for tiny snowmen, santa and angel which I am going to be knitting in the run up to christmas either for decorations or as gifts to put on presents.
Friday 6th April
Good Friday has started off well so far. I had hot cross buns for breakfast and fish for lunch. It is also the first day of 3 days I have off for Easter.
This week I have baked an Easter cake. It was a bag of dry ingredients that I got from Sainsburys after Christmas for about £2 including the marzipan and icing- AMAZING!
These are the bags of ingredients:
The bags have all the dry ingredients you need all measured out in little bags. It was very easy to make.
Here is the mix ready in the tin
And all wrapped up ready to go in the oven
It took 3 and a half hours to cook in the oven, the longest I have ever had to bake a cake for. And I was a bit worried it was being burnt to a crisp in there.
The top turned out fine but the edges were a bit darker than the rest. Which is where mum chipped in to say a should have put paper around the edge aswell to stop it cooking too quickly- which is great after it has been cooked!
After the burnt cake had cooled overnight it was time to decorate it. The decorating bag had everything in it including apricot jam to help the marzipan stick to the cake. It also had 3 different sized stars but I found an chick one in the drawer that I thought would be more Eastery. I rolled ou the icing and marzipan thinner that it said because mum doesn't like it that much. Unfortunately this meant that there was a leftover ball of marzipan and icing which I had to eat- such a tough life!
Here is the decorated cake:
I hope everyone had a good Easter. We are still eating the cake and I am informed that it doesn't taste burnt!
Friday 30th March
As I have been visiting my nan in hospital I haven't had much time to finish any of my projects so I'm going to use this post to let you know how the Knit Relief aution went.
The last half an hour of the auction was very exciting with items being bid on every few minutes. The tea cosy that I knitted went for £41 in the end which is AMAZING for a little knitted tea cosy. And my grandmas knitted baby vest went for £8.01.
The grand total of all the items sold (52 in total) was £2038 which is astonishing and will make such a huge difference to Sport Relief and the work that they carry out.
I posted off my parcels this morning to their new owners so they will arrive early next week hopefully.
I wrapped them in brown paper and string:
Wrote a little thank you card:
And they are ready to be posted:
Friday 23rd March
I am catching up on my blog posts before I get too far behind so sorry this is late.
My Finished Friday for today is the blanket I had as a Work in Progress post a while ago here that I actually managed to finish. I put it on my list of things to do in my 2 weeks holiday from work so it had to be done otherwise the universe would end!
I stitched all the rows together and they actually looked really good- a few were a bit wonky here and there but on the whole it looked surprisingly good for a first attempt. In the pattern from Mollie Makes magazine they put bias binding around the edge and left the back as it was with all the seams from the squares. I didn't like that idea so on my trip to Ikea at the weekend I picked up a fleece for £1.59 in a pale blue perfect for the colours in my blanket.
When I got home I was very excited to get it finished and so pinned it all together straight away and got stuck into sewing around the edges. It was a bit tricky because the blanket was quite heavy and my sewing table isn't very long so it would slip off every now and again but the overall result is something I am very pleased with. Plus as it was a lovely sunny day I could take pictures of it in the garden!
I'm in love with it! I like the colours and the softness of the fleece on the back. Plus I like that I only had to pay £1.59 for it. They jumpers are old ones of mine and my mums that we found in the loft so cost me nothing. I am definitely going to try and upcycle some more. My brother has just thrown a load of old shirts my way so I can see a summer shirt material throw on the horizon! Plus lots of buttons for my button box!
Here is the blanket at home on the end of my bed. If I had a giant room with a reading chair in it would definitely be draped over that but until I'm a millionaire this will have to do!
I tried it out the other morning when I was a bit chilly doing some uni work. It is so soft and warm I didn't want to have to get dressed and put it down. I can't wait for winter again now so I can use it all the time.
See you next week
Friday 16th March
I thought it best to wait until after Mothering Sunday to post up my finished project of the week. Firstly because I hadn't finished stitching the card until saturday and secondly I decided to make my mum a present so could put the two on here together.
First up is the card. I wrote about it on a previous Work in Progress post as a card I started last year but didn't get finished in time so was determined for it to be finished in time for me to give it to her this year. I almost didn't have it finished as I managed to loose my box with all my embroidery threads somewhere in the house so had no black to put the outlines in. And without the black it just looked like blobs of colour rather than actual objects!
Below is a close up of the stitched design. It is from a chart in CrossStitcher magazine from a year or so ago. I chose this one as it wasn't too soppy or too girly (both of which are things my mum doesn't like!) and I'm also a bit obsessed with bunting so I liked that it had that in.
And here it is mounted onto the finished card. I was going to stamp a border round and put some wording on the front but changed my mind as less is more!
Mum really like it and even suggested that she was going to cut it out with a yellow border and put it in a frame in her office (when she gets round to decorating it!) which is great and gives me another idea for a present for her!
I decided about lunchtime on saturday (nice and organised) after I had checked my bank balance, that I would make mum a present as I couldn't afford to buy her anything. I racked my brain to try and think of something that she wanted/needed that I could make for her. I though of a bag or a cushion cover but then had a brainwave...
A few years ago we had the kitchen redesigned to put in a disabled bathroom downstairs for my dad who has MS and with the redesign there were some shelves put in. Mum wasn't here when the shelves were put up and regrets it as neither of the shelves are big enough to hold A4 cookbooks standing up and they aren't even both the same height (it is a sore point that you NEVER mention!) So anyway as they are a random height no storage boxes will fit in so I thought I would just make her a box that was exactly the right size for the shelves and if she like it I could make her a whole set.
I read a couple of tutorials online about how to make them and then just chose my fabric and made it up as I went along. Below is the (almost) finished item:
The colour scheme of the kitchen is red and luckily I had this red fabric in my stash already from previous projects so didn't have to spend a penny. I used cardborad to make the box stiff enough to stand but haven't stitched the lining in yet incase I think of another way I can make the box sturdy instead of cardboard as I'm worried it will bend.
I really like the mix of gingham and stripes- definitely a combination I will do again.
The box fits perfectly on the shelf and mum is now busy deciding what to store in it, I may be making several more of these in the coming months!
I hope you all have a good week!
Friday 9th March 2012
I have finished the tea cosy for #knitrelief!
I'm very proud of myself as I'm a very slow knitter and it normally takes me ages to finish anything knitting related, which is often why I abandon knitting for sewing.
There was one slight mistake in the bobble size- it was nearly as big as the tea cosy itself so I made another very cute one about a quarter of the size of the original!
This is a picture with the insane sized bobble:
Looking at it now I can't believe I even considered that it was ok! I actually asked my parents for their opinion on the pom pom size- my dad said it was good so I am never trusting his opinion again!
And here is the actual finished tea cosy with normal sized pom pom:
I went with the 'I <3 T' motif on both sides in the end and I think the side in this photo is the one I attempted with no help from my grandma but I can't really tell the difference (which has got to be a good sign- they are either equally as good or equally as bad!)
I haven't decided whether or not to make a lining yet. I want it to be effective as a tea cosy but still fit on all tea pots- decisions decisions.
This is the current reverse side of the cosy- I don't know if this is particularly messy for the back of a motif though!
I am showing my grandma today- i think she will be suitably impressed with it. I am the only grandchild who can knit- in fairness there are only 4 of us but still! My Uncle seems to have elected me to be the one who carries on the art of knitting by learning from my grandma but I will never be as good as her- she knitted me a knee length cable jumper in a week- it took me about 6 months to knit a baby jumper and I was so bored if it after about 2 weeks! I prefer sewing- much quicker results!
I hope you like my tea cosy and I will post a link up nearer the time of where you can bid on it and other items in the #knitrelief auction.
Have a good weekend
Friday 2nd March 2012
I missed Finished Friday too because I was ill so here it is for you (better late than never!)
This week I made a new cover for my sewing machine. My machine was kindly given to me by my great aunt a few years ago and it has a plastic material cover on it which has definitely seen better days so when it came back from a service with a massive rip in the cover I started looking for a pattern to make a new one.
I found a really easy pattern in '101 Great Ways to Sew a Metre' by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Haskins. A friend of mine has a copy of this book and I always look at it wanting to make everything from it so when I had some spare book vouchers I decided to splash out on getting my very own copy and the machine cover is the first thing I made from it!
The pattern was really easy to follow and it took me about 1-2 hours to complete from start to finish- my kind of project!!
I decided to use some Cath Kidston fabric I had in my stash that I haven't been able to decide what to make with. They are remnants that I got cheap about a year ago so I didn't want to waste them as I could never afford her fabric full price!
The cover has a very handy pocket which even when I was making it never though would fit A4 paper in but it does easily so this is where my 'to-do' list and list of things to make as presents now lives!
I think it goes really well on my sewing table (another donationg from my great aunt), much more jolly than the old white cover and I like the contrast between the pocket and the cover. I hope all the projects in the book are as easy as this!
Until next time Xxx
Friday 24th February 2012
Ok so today is technically Saturday but I was too tired last night to get this post done but its still friday (just) in some parts of the world!
This weeks project was one that happened so fast it never even made it onto my to do list (although I may add it on just so I can cross it off and make it look like I am getting through it- I hope I'm not the only person who does this!)
One of my friends told me that she was moving out of her parents house into a rented property so I had to start thinking about something to make her as a housewarming present. I had a brainstorm with a crafty friend and I googled and came up with a sachet to hang on the door which said 'home sweet home' on it.
I used some pictures of sachets that I found in a google search as inspiration and drew a freehand house picture and copied some freehanf lettering for the words. I then had my template and cut out a front and back from some scrap fabric I had leftover from some napkins I made. (I almost forgot to switch the template for the back sachet- it was a close call!!)
I then wrote the lettering on using a washable pen (this was my first time using it and I was impressed, it is definitely going to be used more often) and used chain stitch to stich over the lines.
As I hadn't been to her house I didn't know of any colour schemes that she had which made it very very hard to decide on colours to use. I went for blue anf white fabric with red lettering so it would stand out- i decided these colours were not offensive to colour schemes and were a safe choice!
Below is a picture of the finished sachet and I'm very pleased with it- it went from idea to finished item in less than a week- my kind of project!
I decided to leave the edges rough and just stitch it together with a blanket stitch in the same thread as the writing.
I now have another friend moving to a new flat so will need to either make another one of these or think of something else to make her as a housewarming present....hmmm.....!!
Friday 17th February 2012
This weeks Finished Friday is going to attempt to be a bit of a 'how to...' post. It is for a union jack bag I decided to make a friend for her birthday that I blogged about a couple of weeks ago on a Work in Progress Wednesday post.
Here is the finished bag:
And now how to make your very own in 14 stages! (I did forget to take pictures for some of the stages as I got carried away with making the bag)
Step 1: Choose your fabrics. I chose to go with a gingham background, cream, and blue and pink in the flower fabric. They were all bits of fabric I had in my stash so raid your stash and see what you can find- you'll be surprised!
Step 2: Mark up and cut out your bag shape from the background fabric. My size is 40cm wide by 50cm tall for front and back pieces.
And NEVER let your cat help you with this stage!!
Step 3: Cut out the strips. I made the cream fabric 2cm wider than the flowery fabric to give it a nice sized boarder. Remember to cut the strips about 4cm wider than you want to finished strip to be and you will press the rough edges under before sewing them on to give a nice neat egde.
Step 4: Press all pieces. I know this is boring and time consuming but it really does make a difference. And remember to press a double hem in your main fabric for the opening of the bag. Then I liked to lay mine out to get an idea of what the finished product would look like.
Step 5: I stitch along the double hem pressed earlier and sewed on all the cream strips to create the background for the flowery strips.
Step 6: I used bondaweb to stick the flowery strips onto the cream ones and then machined over the very edge of these with a zig zag stitch to make sure they were secured.
Step 7 I decided to embroider a blanket stitch along the outside of the cream strips just to make them stand out a bit more. I chose a dark purple embroidery thread for mine.
Here is where I stopped taking pictures!
Step 8: Make the bag. Put right sides together and sew around 3 edges (leaving your double hemed side open) and turn right sides out.
Step 9: Make the lining. For this I measured the finished size of the bag and cut out 2 pieces of fabric that size. I pressed a hem again for the opening of the bag. Then sew along 3 sides again.
Step 10: Make 2 handles. Cut a piece of fabric 3 times as wide as you would like them to end up and however long you would like them adding about 5cm for sewing in place. Press the long raw edges to the middle and then press the strip in half again. Sew a line of straight stitching along the folds and you have a bag handle.
Step 11: Place the lining inside the bag so you can see the right side of the fabric.
Step 12: Pin the handles into place between the bag and the lining so the short raw edges cannot be seen. I like to make sure the bag hangs straight and that the handles are both in the same position.
Step 13: Pin the lining to the inside of the bag making sure the top edges meet but the lining doesn't come over the top.
Step 14: Machine a line of straight stitches along the top of the bag as close as you dare the the edge. The will sew the lining to the bag and the handles in place and then you have one completed union jack bag.
But there is one more surprise...the bag can be reversed!!!
This was not the intention when I was making the bag but I like it!
If you have problems following the step by step guide just let me know and I will try to make it clearer.
Friday 10th February 2012
My finished friday today is something I made for #twitknitclub on Twitter.
It is a string of knitted hearts that are now hanging from my light switch in my bedroom.
I did an earlier post for work in progress wednesdays where I had only made the larger two knitted hearts and didn't really know what I was going to do with them. They are only strung on some wool at the moment so I will probably have to change them onto chord so they last longer.
I now have 4 days off work for a change so am hoping to get lots of crafts done in this time and catch up with some presents I need to make for my family and friends birthdays next week.
Friday 20th January 2012
I am hoping to use this blog to help motivate me to finish projects instead of just starting new ones all the time and just flitting from one to the other without really finishing any of them.
I have finally finished a square for a cushion I am making. It's a Christmas cushion so a bit late but it all gets a bit manic at that time of year so I have only just got round to casting it off!
It is a bit hard to see in the picture but there is a picture of Santa's head in the square. I'm hoping to do another square in green of a snowman or something to go with it and then stitch them together to make the front of the cushion.