Kindle holder 

I made a holder for my Kindle (the old fashioned kind that is just for reading books) so it would be cushioned when in my handbag.

I used some of my favourite stash fabrics to make it bright and cheerful. Some fussy cutting was done to get the flowers right and I did pink zigzagging over the joins. 

It is lined with light blue fleece, which was part of a £3 blanket I picked up in Ikea.

   

   

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Quilt for nephew #1

When designing the quilts for my nieces I had no problems picking fabrics and designing them. My aim was for something feminine but not childish so they might use them for years to come (I envisage them taking their quilts to uni with them but I think I am ahead of myself as they are only 2). Picking fabric with the same thoughts in mind for little boys is so much harder.

I purchased a fat quarter bundle of blue checked and stripped material about a year ago ready for Elliot’s quilt. Then I put it aside and did nothing with it for 9 months. I knew somewhere inside that the fabric wasn’t right but I was stuck with what to do. His 2nd birthday came and went in August with no present from his Auntie.

I finally decided that I needed to get different fabric and after a lot of blog research realised that it would probably work best if I stopped worrying about it being childish, what is the likelihood of it surviving 16 years in the hands of a little boy?

So I purchased a Moda layer cake ‘Mixed Bag’ in brushed cotton. I played around with the design for the top, cutting up the layer cake until I settled on a design. After sewing the top together I backed it in plain white as the front is so colourful, and found some lovely yellow fabric in a charity shop which I used to bind it.

The quilt was finally delivered six months late but he didn’t seem to care! Best get cracking on the next one for nephew #2 as his birthday is in June and I will need to ship it abroad to them in time.

   

   

PJ shorts

After my success with the skirt I was keen to try more dressmaking. I found a free pattern online for shorts which I decided would make nice PJ shorts. I have a bag of old shirts that my Grandpa recently gave me that I thought would upcycle nicely as my shorts material. 

I unpicked the back panel off too coordinating shirts and worked out I could get one front and one back shorts piece from each. I found some complimentary binding at a local haberdashery and set to work.

The pattern and online guidance was easy to follow and the only ‘errors’ I made were to make the elastic at the waist too large (should have tried on before sewing the waist closed) and cutting them too large. But they are just for wearing to bed and they are very comfy.

   

   

An adventure into dressmaking 

For a while I have been thinking about learning dressmaking but everything about patterns scared me. What did all the markings mean? How do I know what types of fabric to use and where do I buy them? How do I measure myself correctly? I decided 2015 was going to be my year to learn and conquer.

So I signed up for an introduction to sewing class, a weekend, two 7 hour days learning the basics and making an a line skirt.

The pattern we used was Kwik Sew K3877. I was pretty lost on the fabric having been told to get medium weight cotton. I ended up in John Lewis on Oxford Street after work one evening and came out with this:

   

 

It is called 1376 Sakura Blossom by Makower UK. It has a Japanese blossom on it and it reminded me of the sort of prints you see in shops like Fat Face and White Stuff.

Here’s the finished article (excuse the dodgy photos – another area to work on). It is a better fit than it looks but it needs lining or a petticoat.

   

 

Liberty cushion 

I was very lucky this Christmas to receive two sets of Liberty print fabric cushion kits, one from my husband and one from a good friend. The one from my husband is small blue coloured print squares which I think will be nice in a larger project mixed with some neutral Essex linens.

The kit from my friend was calling out to be made into its cushion so I made it quickly over the Christmas holidays and picked up a cheap infill from Dunelm Mill. It now sits on a shelf in my office, brightening the room!

Owl pin cushion present 

I have a close friend who loves owls and has been very supportive for me the past year so I decided to make her birthday present this year. She is an amazing beader and uses lots of needles so I thought an owl pin cushion would be just up her street.

I found a free template and directions online and raided my stash for the fabrics. I was so pleased with how he came out. She likes him so much she won’t put pins in him as doesn’t want to damage him!