Sunday 26 August 2012

Going Up in the World?

So if you ignore the fact that my laptop has been put centre stage (guessing that was DD1, judging by the glass of 'holiday treat Orangina' next to it), this gives you an idea of where I've been sitting to sew over the last week - a bigger space than I usually occupy, and less crowded, as although I pack a sewing machine and a crate of fabric and other necessities, I leave most of my sewing room safely at home!

What you can't see is that when I was sitting there (and I have to confess to preferring a less beautiful but more comfortable adjustable chair) I could look to my right and see the sea - how lovely was that?

I realise that having ME / CFS means that my holidays aren't like those of other people.  Sharing a holiday with my extended family means that my girls get to play on the beach and do all those holiday things that I can't easily do with them - and which are hard for my DH to do alone.  My role is to be there for them at the end of the day when they come home cold and tired, and other than that I am 'allowed' to stay in and sew or rest.  It still bugs me that I can't go out and join in - I want to be striding over moors, scrambling over rocks and loving the outdoors - but at least this way my girls get to do fun things, even if I'm pretty much housebound for the holiday.

Next time I'll have some photos of the sewing that I did, but as yet the quilt that I almost finished still needs binding, and I haven't taken any photos of my C&G sample blocks!

I hope that you are having a fun summer, whether sewing, crafting or just enjoying yourself some other way.

Monday 13 August 2012

Almost there!

 I have made surprisingly good progress on my TAST catch up plan - due largely to my lovely DH taking my DDs off camping for a couple of nights, allowing me to sit in front of the TV with my laptop propped at eye level next to me whilst I deciphered how to make lovely new stitches.

I am now only three stitches behind - and hoping to make up more ground today, as one of the stitches I can already see how to do!

My only other crafting has been to make two of these little notebook covers.  Cheap and cheerful mini-notepads, a small amount of fabric, ribbon and fleece, and a few small pencils that the girls were given free at some point. 

A really good way of giving them a tiny carry kit, and the individual pencil pockets mean that they can't easily lose the pencils when the train gives an extra large joggle!

I hope that you are having a lovely crafty summer.

Saturday 4 August 2012

Hairband Tutorial

I know that I'm only a couple of weeks into the school hols, so it's not really time to talk about back to school in any way, but you might want to make this simple project with your small people over the summer, as it's really, really easy!

You will need two pieces of fabric (one 17" x 4", one 5 1/2" x 2 1/2" and a piece of elastic 4" long)
1) Fold each piece of fabric in half (right sides together and sew along the long side of each (I used a generous 1/4" seam).

2) Turn them out to make two tubes.

3) Iron them flat with the seam in the middle of the bottom flat side.

4) Turn the ends of the long tube inside (about 1/4") and iron them in ready for sewing.
 5) Use a bodkin or large safety pin to hold one end of the elastic and thread it through the short tube just far enough that the end of the elastic and the end of the fabric tube line up.  Sew over this end several times with the sewing machine to hold the elastic and fabric securely.

6) Pull the elastic through the tube and sew the other ends in the same way - the extra fabric will crinkle up around it - that's what you want!

7) Now put each end of the little elastic-y crinkle tube into the folded end of the large fabric tube.  You should aim to line up the middle seams, and sew them into place with several passes of sewing again - your sewing should go from edge to edge of the large tube but you might want to do a couple of extra passes over the middle section with the little tube end.
 8) Ta-da!  You have finished your hairband - now find a young model to show you how great it looks!

I cut up a school dress that was past it's best, which had a high polyester content, which is why this band doesn't look as flat as the others that we've made. On the plus side it will match school uniform when my DD's return to school!
Of course, you don't have to make it in school colours, and if you want to make it really simple for small people to make, you don't even have to make the small covering tube for the back, like this one that DD2 made.
Alternatively you can get really fancy with two types of fabric and pleats into the smaller tube (so a slightly different construction, but once you've made a basic one I'm sure that you can work that out!).

I hope that you have fun.  The measurements given are for  primary school girls' heads.  If you want a longer band for yourself or an older girl then just adjust the longer tube - you shouldn't need it to be more than about 20" I think, but you can always measure to check before you make it.

I like the idea of embellishing them - I'm thinking jazzy flowers, stuffed ladybirds, perhaps a felt parrot - but the girls have come across my wilder ideas before and have decided to keep the bands plain at the moment.......