Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Baby bucket hat

Well I have finally been doing some sewing, for me and for Harris.  I'll start with the make for Harris as I'm really pleased with it and have many more planned, not all for him as how many sun hats does a boy need really!  He does have a few but as we're always mislaying them so I thought it would be useful to have another.  I used the Oliver + S reversible bucket hat free pattern which was brilliant! You can see he looks pretty pleased with it too!

I cut the extra small which it states is for 6-12 months but I was worried it might be a bit small as he has quite a large head! So instead of using the recommended 1/2" seam allowance I just used a 1/4". This saved me some time as I didn't need to trim them, just pinked the edges with my pinking scissors (which are very blunt - does anyone know of anywhere in London that I could get them sharpened?).

The instructions are pretty easy to follow, the only bit that made me scratch my head a bit was attaching the crown to the side panels but I found some helpful photos on a tutorial by A Little Gray that helped me work it out.  Everything fitted together really well and it was much more straightforward to make it reversible than I thought it would be.  I'll definitely be making some more. In fact my husband has even asked if I can size the pattern up to make one for him too!

I'm really pleased with how neat my top-stitching on both sides of the hat is and I love the fabrics too.  The lovely blue, which I think might be a linen cotton blend but I can't remember, came from Ray Stitch. The geometric print is a fat quarter which I think came from M is for Make.  I've still got plenty left of both so I was thinking of making a wee pair of matching trousers in the blue with the printed fabric as a turn up - we'll see if I have time while summer is still here!

How is everyone else's summer sewing going?!

Friday, 25 April 2014

It's curtains! and Me Made May 2014 pledge

Four weeks ago I posted a photo on Instagram of me working on a pair of curtains for the nursery - well, they turned in to a bit of a saga but that's them finished and up now.  I used this tutorial which I found useful although I had real issues with the fabric not staying straight.  You can see it in the photo.  I used a blackout lining but it doesn't go right to the edge of the fabric due to the process of attaching the lining to the curtain fabric so there's a gap where the light comes through.  I tried using spray starch and even used my hair straighteners as a desperate measure once they were up - it didn't work! They do look very nice though we'll still need to get a blackout blind.

I just love the fabric! I got it from M is for Make, they don't have it anymore but they do have the same fabric with bears which is equally as cute.

I've decided to take the length of time it took me to get these curtains made as a sign for Me Made May - I need to rethink my pledge this year.  Last year my pledge was to wear something I had made or refashioned - clothes or jewellery - every day for the month of May.  I just don't have the time for much sewing at the moment and I know that I would be disappointed in myself if I set a pledge and didn't do it.  Instead I thought I'd do something more useful to me this year -

I, Kathryn Hannan of Kathryn's Busy Town, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14.  I will wear or try on everything which I have made and anything which doesn't fit will go to the charity shop or the refashion pile.  I will also keep a note of what I do wear every day so as to give myself a sewing plan for the very limited sewing time I now have.


I really hope this will spur me on to do more sewing as I really need some smart but easy to wear clothes, that is things that are comfortable for playing with a baby, but also potential outfits for when I go back to work. A tall order I know but as I don't work in a particularly corporate environment I think it can be done.

And last but by no means least, I just realised that today is my 3 year blog anniversary!  I'm off to have a celebratory glass of wine, or two!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Create your own fabric with By Hand London

Well hello there! Not much sewing has been going on round these parts, instead it's been lots of cuddles with a sick wee boy who's thankfully on the mend now. I have been spending a bit of time arranging my sewing space and organising my fabric so hopefully I'll have something to show for it soon. In the meantime I thought I'd share some really exciting news from the By Hand London girls. I'm a bit late with this so I bet you've all already read about it but just in case now here goes..

I love the By Hand London patterns and their enthusiasm and support for people sewing up their patterns, so any new venture by them is going to be worth getting excited about. However this is like a dream come true - they are fund-raising to start a venture whereby we can design and print our own fabric!! So like Spoonflower but the fabric will be printed here in the UK, using ecologically friendly inks, and printed on demand so no wastage. What a fantastic idea! They've launched a Kickstarter to fund this and I so hope they reach their target! Going by the sell out success of their first fabric I'm sure they have no worries!

Monday, 10 February 2014

Baby tartan

My first make for our wee one - I wanted to make him something special to wear to attend his first wedding.  As his dad was the best man I thought it would be lovely to make him something tartan to go with his dad's kilt.  I was kindly offered some scraps of the tartan wool used to make the groom and best man's kilts so I decided on turn-ups for a pair of trousers.  Rather than go out and buy some trousers to attach them to I used Made by Rae's free newborn trouser pattern.  I think this is really meant for woven fabrics but figured as long as I measure it against a pair of his own trousers I'd be fine making it out of jersey.  I did consider real turn-ups but I couldn't work out how to do them, and the tartan frayed something terrible!  Afterwards I was told that tartan is usually cut on the bias for kilt making for that very reason.  So what I did was cut a rectangle of tartan for each leg, sew it at the side seam then fold it in half and attach it the same way you would a neck or arm band on a jersey t-shirt - by putting the raw edges together stitching then pressing it out.  It looks like a turn-up as long as you don't look too closely and was very quick to do - which, given I was doing this the evening before the wedding, was essential!  I did a jersey waistband as well, attached in the same way.  They did turn out too long but at least you could still see the tartan.  At the last minute I decided to make him a matching bow-tie and he looked absolutely adorable! The bow-tie was just stitched on to a white t-shirt, don't worry I didn't make him wear anything uncomfortable!

I totally forgot to take any close-ups of him at the wedding as he was only actually there for a few hours (we were very lucky that his Grandma and Grandpa brought him along to the reception for a few hours then looked after him at the hotel so we could stay for the dinner and party!)  So I got him dressed up in it again and tried to take some photos.  You can see he thought I was pretty silly for doing so!

These were such a quick make and I really enjoyed it - I can't wait to make him more clothes!  Does anyone have any favourite patterns they would recommend? There seems to be far more patterns for cute dresses and skirts than for clothes suitable for a baby boy.  I was given the black jersey by a friend as it was left over from a project of hers and the tartan is offcuts from the kilt so although I didn't use anything from my stash at least I didn't add to it! I know I'm totally biased but I thought he was the best dressed guy there - asides from the groom and best man of course!