Craft Marathon Task 3: Eggplant Purple

This week I decided to use some materials I am familiar with to do a project I haven’t done before. So, using calico and felt I designed and made a notebook. I “liberated” some paper from work. Folded and stitched a spine into it. I then used the cover of an old magazine to create the outside of the notebook. I then covered this with unbleached calico and glued the edges down. Then came the design. I had a template of a bird that I’d used previously. I cut this out in purple felt and added the orange eye and wing details. I was going to leave it at this but the bird looked a bit lonely so I decided to add a wee branch for the bird to sit on.

This new skill will be great for feeding my stationary habit!





Vintage Sewing.

I have a box filled with vintage sewing patterns that I’ve been too scared to use/cut up. I recently decided that this was a silly attitude as they were made to be used and I loved the designs so what was the point in keeping them boxed up and unused. So, with that in mind I embarked upon making this pattern.

I thought that the simplicity of this pattern would help me to ease into using my vintage patterns. I decided to make the short sleeved version, skipping the pockets ( I don’t need any more encouragement to carry more junk around with me!). I also decided on a self coloured collar. My choice of fabric was this great V&A one. I thought the stiffness of the cotton would really lend itself well to this pattern.

So, as an easy pattern I figured I’d get this finished in an afternoon, which I did. However, I ran into problems with the sleeves, which nearly lead to a sleeveless dress. They were unbelievably fiddly and still don’t quite sit as I’d like them, though that’ll be a change for another day. Other than that the pattern was a pleasure to complete and I got a fantastic sense of achievement when I finished. So here is the finished product, I’m a so pleased with it and get the impression I’m going to wear it to death.  Now to tackle the rest of the box!

Craft and Sewing Magazines

I thought I’d take a little time and tell you about some of my favourite craft and sewing magazines. I’ve tried lots of different magazines and liked some more than others. The ones I particularly liked were Making Magazine and Mollie Makes. Both of these magazines jumped off the shelf at me before I had even had a chance to look at the contents. Their design is modern and fresh and exciting and is something I had struggled to find in a lot of traditional sewing and crafting magazines you can buy off the shelf.

Both magazines have a great selection of articles covering sewing, embroidery, crochet, DIY, cooking and so much more. They also introduce us to new designers, makers and crafters with something to say. These magazines have offered me so much inspiration, not only in the projects they suggest, but in their layout, colour ways and ethos. I urge you, if you haven’t picked one of these magazines up yet please do so. They are a treat!


Craft Marathon Task 2: Sunshine Yellow

What a great theme for a dreary Scottish winter! It’s brightened my week up no end. I think we all need a bit of sunshine in February!

I decided to do something I’d never done before for this challenge (as I did for task one too). Maybe next week I’ll try something I’ve already tried before! Anyway, for this challenge I decided to use a spare yellow tape measure I had lying around. I’ve been meaning to make a bookmark for ages so it all worked together to make these 3 bookmarks. They are folded fibre glass tape measures hot glued to bookmark paper clips. I hope they stay folded!

I’m so enjoying this craft marathon. It’s great to be pushed outside my comfort zone and work to a theme each week. I’ve enjoyed using new materials and trying new things. I hope the next theme offers a similar level of challenge!


By the way you can see all of the submissions to the craft marathon on the flickr group. Pop by and see some absolutely brilliant creations.

The Colette Sewing Handbook- Sarai Mitnick

Ok, so my book buying habit might be getting out of control. Mr Postman has just delivered me this delicious looking handbook. It’s stuffed full of gorgeous designs, advice and lessons. As a self taught (and mother taught) seamstress it’s great to get a bit of guidance from a book like this on some of the techniques used in dressmaking. It saves hours being able to follow a shortcut rather than figuring out through trial and error how to complete techniques. I am also very excited by the information regarding the alteration of patterns as until now I have either followed a pattern exactly or gone completely in my own direction (with mixed results). It’ll be good to adjust and alter patterns to suit my fabric/ body/taste without completely free-styling it!

Between this and Carrie Maclennan’s A Busy Girl’s Guide to Sewing I foresee many happy hours in front of the sewing machine.  Though I must restrain myself from buying more books, or patterns and allow myself a little time to get started on the projects in the books I already have.

Craft Marathon Task 1: Apple Green

20120211-153055.jpgSo I have completed my first task on the craft marathon craft marathon. I decided on using polymer clay to make flower shaped beads for a bracelet. I painted each flower bead green and then added yellow painted beads to break up the design a bit. I’m pretty pleased with the outcome as I’ve never tried making polymer clay beads before or made a bracelet. I’m looking forward to trying this again.


A Busy Girl’s Guide To Sewing- Carrie Maclennan

I love getting packages sent to my workplace (my boss is not such a huge fan). It just makes me so happy to get a wee present, especially during stressful or busy periods. It’s great for reminding me that my life doesn’t begin and end at work. Today I received Carrie Maclennan’s book A Busy Girl’s Guide to Sewing. It looks so beautiful and I can’t wait to get started! I love the idea of splitting the projects into sections of how long they will take. The book is separated into 30 mins or less, 1 hour or less and four hours or less. I am terrible for starting projects and leaving them unfinished, especially if I’ve misjudged just how long it will take me to finish a project. With the handy guide I should be finishing projects left right and centre! I love the design of this book, the pictures, diagrams and illustrations make the book seem really accessible.

The projects in the book are great too! Ranging from the practical (pincushions, needle books, pattern files) to the beautiful (skirts, cushions, bunting). I can’t wait to get started! There are loads of additional hints and tips to help you become a better sewer. It’s filled me with inspiration and I can’t wait to get home to my sewing machine now.

Obviously I’ve not tested anything in the book yet but when I do I’ll be sure to post some pictures.