Lavender hearts

Lavender hearts

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Pillowcase dress

I seem to have fits and spurts with sewing, there will be weeks when I don't sew a thing (but always daydreaming about projects) and then when the project cannot wait any longer, and I have assembled all the necessary kit, I will dust off my machine, and let her whizz away.

This week after promising Louise at Sew scrumptious  for weeks (40 days and 40 nights), that I would make a pillowcase dress for her great 'Dressing a girl around the world' making dresses for girls living in poverty. I could not delay it any longer.

Sewing a dress, is a feat in itself, as I have never sewed a piece of clothing in my life (besides my old school skirt in sewing class in school 20 years ago). I have only ever sewed smaller items, peg bags, zipped purses, lavender hearts, PE bags, you get the picture.

My first task was to find a suitable pillowcase, I looked in my linen cupboard but none of them cut the mustard, they were either too plain, or too smart. A wander down to my local charity shop and I was in luck.
After explaining to the shop lady about my project, she kindly said I could go 'out the back' and choose one for myself! Well if you are a thrifter this is like bees to honey, I felt like the cat the had got the cream, my eyes were darting all over the place looking for the pink vintage teapot, which has alluded me so far in my thrifty searches - but no joy.

But I did find two 70's pillowcases with pretty flowers and patterns on them and the kind shop lady gave them to me for free!

Unfortunately (not surprisingly) I made a bit of a hash with the first pillowcase, in only cutting half a dress from the pattern provided, (scrap material is so useful!)

Second attempt and I was on my way, I followed the instructions as much I could (hate rules, and I like to sew with my heart, so I tend to do my own thing quite a lot) I persisted and persisted over a few days and a few nights

And voila, yesterday evening It was complete. I was really impressed with the bias binding you needed around the sleeves, as I have never sewed with them before and I loved the neat edges it makes. I added some Hazel and Blue ribbon around the bottom of the dress, which I think is a nice personal touch.

I hope the girl who received this pillowcase dress enjoys wearing it! I really enjoyed making it!
If you fancy joining in and making a pillowcase dress for charity go to sewscrumptious blog, where there is a great tutorial to follow.


Saturday, 21 May 2011

Our thrifty bargain of the Year!

Last week I made it to the car boot sale and my Son and I had a lovely morning browsing the tables and picking up a few bargains. I was also persuaded to buy a hot dog from the hamburger van and we shared a quiet moment on the plastic chairs eating our hot dogs, looking at all the people mulling around.

It was lovely to spend this quality time with my Son, and even though he is 7, he wanted to hold my hand all around the stalls-  and I love this as it is so unlike him (one day he'll probably want to stand 50 metres behind me)

I brought my Son a mahoosive pile of Manchester United old programmes for 50p, the Woman said she just wanted to get rid of them for her Brother who no longer needs them!

             This beautiful ballerina girl for my little girl, so graceful and very swan lake like. £1.50.
            We thought she (ballerina) be a great way to hang all her hairbands on.

I also have been browsing my work intranet For sale section and saw a wooden frame futon for £60 pounds. We have been looking for a sofa bed for our spare room for awhile and snapped this up quickly.

And this last item was our Bargain of the Year! She was free and advertised in my local for Sale section at work. Let me introduce you to Poppy....

We can have her next month, when she has grown up a bit more. (And we are so behind excited!)


Saturday, 14 May 2011

Crafting a Keepsake - A Handmade Gift

Recently my dear friend has had a new baby, and I wanted to make her a keepsake for her little girl. I remember when I had my two children, the gifts that have stayed, have been the ones which have been treasured and loved.
My initial thought was too sew something for her baby, but with a distinct lack of fabric in my sewing box this couldn't happen. So I thought about doing a fabric card with her babies name and birth date cut from fabric.

I brought the frame at my local shops, and wrapped it in some pretty pink tissue and bubble wrap.

I was delighted to hear from her recently to say she 'loves' it and I was equally pleased it arrived all in one piece.

I have also joined in a Tea Towel swap over at Leonie's blog kiwiatheart she is running the Tea-Towel swap 2011,  and I was lucky enough to join in just before it closed on the 12th May.  I love tea towels and I have been known to put my tea towels in frames see here and hang them on my wall!
I think I am going to have fun choosing my tea towel for this swap, with so many lovely ones around.


I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Monday, 9 May 2011

Green Cream and Pink

With the heavens pouring outside my window on Sunday, my plan to go to the local car boot, was temporarily halted. Never mind an extra hour in bed and a cuppa did the trick to cheer me up! Luckily I had already found some thrifty gems in the week, and here are my finds.
First up is this sweet little ceramic doll, my DD actually picked this up at the charity shop for 99p

In the same shop I saw this pretty cream tureen, and I loved its simple shape. I thought it would go nicely with my blue and gold tureen, I brought recently in Hampshire.

And finally this pretty flower plate from Laura Ashley, it was half price and I brought it with a voucher I received for my birthday last year! It was £2.50.

I am hoping this weekend will be sunnier and then I can mooch around the car boot sale in comfort! Fingers crossed.
For this weeks thrifty finds, I am linking in here at Liz's Magpie Monday and here at Sophie's Flea Market Finds.

I am looking forward to reading all your thrifty finds this week!
Happy Thrifting

Friday, 6 May 2011

Flower Cupcake Cases

I am always looking for quirky items, which have a vintage feel, and when I spotted these gorgeous cupcake cases and toppers in a Sunday paper magazine article, I had to get them.

They are from a company based in London, producing the most amazing designs on paper items.
I made these chocolate cupcakes, from my favourite chocolate cake recipe (which need no measurements!).

With butter frosting for the top and using my new steel piping tool (which I love) piped the icing on the top of the cupcakes.

We all ate them after school and in the spirit of high tea, made a cuppa with my Mothers Present teacup from Portmerion.

One day I would love to go to London and have a 'proper' high tea, in one of the fancy hotels. I dream of strawberry macaroons, and salmon sandwiches, with my own 3 tier plate in front of me, filled with delights!

Have a great weekend

Monday, 2 May 2011

Pretty Ribbon Pouch Sewing Tutorial

These Pretty ribbon pouches are perfect for the beginner sewer and a great craft project to do with a young child who is starting to sew. You only need a few centimetres of fabric and the pattern can easily be adapted to make bigger or smaller pouches. What is also great about this project is that you can machine or hand sew the pouches. I opted to machine sew these, as I had only a short time to make them.

I used all my spare pieces of fabric, including the fabric I received in a recent fabric swap.

We used these pouches for Easter presents for our family and friends, filling them with mini Easter eggs and shredded paper. They could equally be used for party bags, hair bands, rings, little toy figures, sweets etc.

What you will need:
1. Fabric
3. Sewing thread

1. Measure and cut fabric (approximately 10cm by 20cm)
2. Sew a 3cm hem at the top of the long side of the fabric
3. Machine or Hand sew the hem
4. Fold the fabric in half (wrong sides showing) and sew around the edges.
5.Turn the bag right side out. 
6. Measure your ribbon along the top of the pouch and double it. Thread the ribbon with a safety pin through the hem at the top of the pouch. Tie a knot at the end of the ribbon. Or alternately hand sew a button at the end of the ribbon, tying them together.
5. Fill the pouch with goodies.

I hope that makes sense!

When I made these pouches over the Easter period, I had my girl and her two friends helping me. As they say many hands, make light work! We enjoyed giving the pouches away to our friends and family, and I made two extra ones for my two to keep for themselves.