Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Home makes no.1 - red pouffe

My first make of 2014 - and one I've been meaning to do for, ooh just about a year!  It feels very satisfying to have finally got round to it.  It didn't take very long at all once I started sewing as it was just a few straight lines.  My mother-in-law very kindly made this pouffe for us years ago when we were living in Glasgow and we both love it.  However it gets used as a footstool, pizza table, red wine table etc and as a result was looking pretty dirty and worse for wear.  It was time to give it a new cover.

You can't see in the photo but this is a lovely soft fine cord fabric.  I picked up a few metres of it really cheaply at a Peter Jensen fabric sale I went to with some lovely ladies including Kathryn, Alison, Elisalex and Joelle.  That was a long time ago and it's been languishing in my stash ever since.  That means... that my first make of the year also qualifies as the start of my Stash Diet 2014 - win! Initially I was going to make a pinafore style dress but since our new arrival I've changed my mind and would like to make him some trousers or dungarees with what is left.

This was really easy to make as I haven't covered it at the bottom - this means I can remove it easily to wash it, but also meant less sewing - another win in my book. I just measured the top and sides of the pouffe, added a 1.5cm seam allowance then started cutting out the squares.  I then sewed the top and two sides together in a line before adding on the other 2 sides. I pinked all the seams as the cord really frays.  Oh, and I added a pocket, well actually 2 pockets.  One for the remote controls and one for toys. I'm really pleased with it and it looks great in our living room, which has a lot of turquoise, red and orange in it. 

Here it is below with some other new additions to our house - a gorgeous sewing box which my hubby bought for me from our friends website - Thriftola.  And a stool I got reupholstered by the chair man in Walthamstow, who used to be based in Wood Street but is now in the back of Penny Fielding's shop in Orford Road (I realise this is only of interest to anyone local to the area but it's always nice to recommend local businesses).

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Stash Diet 2014

I mentioned in my last post that I was going to join the Stash Diet 2014 that Gail and Andrea have initiated so I thought I would lay my goals out here.

My goals:
1. I can only buy 1 new piece of fabric when I have used 2 pieces from my stash
2. I cannot buy any new patterns until I have used at least 3 existing patterns. This can include patterns I've already used before as well as all the patterns I have which haven't seen any use yet
3. I will go through my patterns and fabric and try and swap or giveaway any that I don't think I'll use.  I can use the Stash Diet swap that Morgan has organised for this.

My exclusions:
1. If I want to make something specific for the wee one I can buy new fabric, ditto with baby patterns
2. I can buy notions, muslin and lining fabric as I haven't built up much of a supply of these
3. Fabric bought during travels - if I'm visiting somewhere else and see some nice fabric or a pattern then I can indulge

First up - I will need to sort through my fabrics and patterns, upload what I don't think I'll ever use to the Flickr group for the swap, and start a sewing plan! I'm excited about trying to work through the fabric I have as I really was quite surprised by just how much I've managed to accumulate in the past few years! It's also so nice to take part in these group challenges

So are you joining the Stash Diet 2014 or the Stashbusting group set up by Cation Designs? There's always so much going on it's difficult to select what to take part in. This year I'll not have much time for sewing but I'm definitely up for the Sewcialists Pink April and Me Made May 2014 (Zoe has already mentioned it so I'm super excited it's going on this year too as last year was so much fun!).
What about you guys? Any sewalongs you're planning on taking part in or pledges you've made about your sewing for the next year?

    Monday, 6 January 2014

    Happy New Year!

    Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone has had a relaxing and fun break over the holidays.  I had planned to do a round-up post as I've so enjoyed reading all the Top 5 posts, started by Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow (thanks Gillian!  However as you can probably guess from the above photo I've been a bit preoccupied! Let me introduce our new arrival.  Our little baby is just the best and most perfect creation I could ever have imagined and I'm absolutely besotted with him!

    Looking back over this year's posts I'm pleasantly surprised to see how much I've made, especially considering I haven't done any sewing for months.  This year I've made 3 dresses, 4 skirts, 4 tops, and 2 t-shirts, plus 2 baby blankets as presents (using Handmade Jane's great tutorial).  My most worn makes are the 'sailing I am sailing' scout tee, Wildwood Flower skirt, and my two Kirsten Kimono tees - here and here.  The stripy Kimono tee is already in the bin as I wore and washed it loads and the fabric didn't really last.  The bird one has a few stains on it - I suppose I better get used to that now haha! So I need to get to making some more t-shirts soon. There are only a few things I've made which haven't been worn much so I think that's pretty good going - the Winter Ginger doesn't fit great and I just don't think it's quite my style even though I love the fabric.  My Spring-time Elisalex was a great learning experience but I cut it too short and ruined the effect of the shape.  I'm so pleased I make things I wear a lot and am proud of myself for successfully taking part in Me Made May and wearing me-mades every day (my Flickr set from May).  New techniques I learned include lining a bodice (on the Elisalex) and french seams (on my Scout Tees and Tiny Pocket Tank).  

    All in all this year has been a great learning year for me with sewing and a very eventful year in our lives.  As well as welcoming our wee one we also bought our first home and moved in the summer, on one of the hottest days of the year and with me 6 months pregnant!

    So no big round up post here, instead I'll set out a few aims for 2014 - but I'll not be to hard on myself if I don't get round to them!

    1. Andrea and Gail have started a Stash Diet which sounds great to me! It's quite loose which suits me as I don't really have many fabrics for making clothes for Harris and I'm sure I'm going to want to buy some! Anyway I'll lay out my Stash Diet rules in another post.

    2. Take part in some sew-alongs.  However, so this doesn't clash with the Stash Diet I'm only going to do this if I already have the pattern or suitable fabric for a theme (such as the Sewcialists Pink April)

    3. 2013 involved a lot of repeats of patterns and that is going to continue this year as my sewing time will be very limited.  I'd like to make some more Scout tees, have another go at the Elisalex, try and make a few Anna's for the summer, and maybe even attempt some Juniper trousers though I realise that's probably being very over ambitious!

    4. Make something every month, whether for baby, for me, or for the house

    5. Of course most importantly I'd love to start making some clothes for baby!