Sunday, 17 July 2011

Introducing my Owly Purses!

Last weekend my friend Kate asked me if I could make an owl purse for her fellow brownie leader as she wanted one to keep keys in for her brownie group.  This got the old brain in gear and I was very soon coming up with ideas, looking at pictures of all the different species of owl and the differences between them.
Tawny Owl Purses
 I found some pictures of owls on the internet and went with the tawny owl first as I loved its little beardy face and the oval shape lent itself to this style of purse.  I designed the owl face, cut the pieces from felt and then used fabric and a zip to make it into a cute little purse.
Original Tawny Owl
This was my prototype attempt which I am pretty pleased with.  I went with natural colours (which I have now run out of) and used this zipper lined purse tutorial which I have used before.  I wasn't sure if it would work with an oval purse, but thought I would try it and it worked!  This stitching on the zip is not quite up to scratch but I am getting better as I go on.
Blue Tawny Owl
I wanted to make this particular owl pattern again to test it out and to try and refine my late night zip sewing.  The colours are a little more intense than shown, I don't really know which one I like best, I like the different feels.
Both are backed with sturdy black cotton and have a pretty cotton lining.  I am a little worried about the lining catching in the zip but it doesn't seem to be too bad. I have been thinking about using patterned fabric and buttons but that might be a later development.  I am also going to look at different kinds of owls and will do some different designs.  I am hoping that by the end of next month I can try out my first craft fair so for now I am building up my stock.  Due to interest in these purses they are now in my shop :)  If anyone has any suggestions then I am happy to hear them :)

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Charity Shop Pattern Finds

We popped out this morning to visit the butcher in Killay which is just down the road but we had only driven past before and I found a little treasure trove.  There are few cafes, supermarkets and bakeries and just opposite the butcher is a lovely little charity shop.  It is one of the more junky, things piled everywhere, everything a few quid type ones which you don't seem to find so much any more.  All the ones in the town centre have become far too upmarket, selling fair trade goods and shop seconds and you just don't find sewing supplies in them.  This looked good though and I asked and after getting the poor lady who worked there to move some boxes for me, she revealed 2 big boxes of patterns!  Hurrah!  And only £1 each?  Extra hurrah!  So I limited myself to 5 and I have got......
Simplicity 2195 - 1957
I am very pleased with this one, I thought it looked 1950's when I found it but there was no date on it so I checked on the Vintage Pattern Wiki when I got home and it is 1957!  My suspicions were correct!  This was the oldest one that I could see so I got it for that reason, plus I love the second view with the red check shirt and short sleeves. 

Style 1505 - 1966
This is a nightdress pattern but the 2 lower neckline dresses could easily be day dresses with a cute little belt.
Style 1998 - 1977
The first view is too much flower power and ric-rac for me but I really like the blue dress with the eyelets and criss-cross ribbon in the front and I have not seen many dresses where the sleeves and bodice are made from one piece of fabric.
Butterick 6205 - 1970's?
This one doesn't have a date but it looks 1970's and wiki seems to agree with me.  I realise now I have got this home that it is pretty similar to the 1975 Floral Dress I have just made!  I tend to find I end up going for the same styles in ready-to-wear clothes but now I seem to do it in patterns, oh well!  I really like the yellow sleeveless patterns and the 2 puffy sleeve versions at the front.  
Butterick 4376 - 1989
Yes it looks '80's BUT just look at the Kate Middleton wedding dress in the middle!  I can definitely make something pretty with this.  I really love the lacey dresses around at the moment and this is already in my size, perfect!

I have also started going through my patterns and adding them to the vintage wiki where I haven't already found them on there as I think this is a great resource. 

Friday, 8 July 2011

My First Ruffle Cushion

At the moment I am participating in a swap on Craftster which includes one crafted item from my partners wishlist.  I noticed on her Pinterest site that she has quite a few home furnishings on it, including cushions with ruffles.  There seems to have been quite an up surge in people making these and sharing tutorials on them at the moment so I thought I would give it a go.  My partner had cream cushions saved but I had this really nice mint green cotton that I thought would fit the bill and was only a metre so was not likely to be used for clothing.  What do you think?
I wasn't sure when I started how many ruffles I would go  for, but in the end I covered the entire front side.  I was thinking of having just a strip down the centre but it didn't look quite right and I love the effect of the whole section of ruffles.  It also feels really nice when you brush it with your hand.
I looked at a few tutorials but didn't follow one exactly, I just measured one of my cushions to get the dimensions then cut lots of strips that are double the size of the width of the pillow.
I made it with an envelope back which is really easy, though if I do it again I will add some buttons on the flap to keep the pillow tucked inside all safe.
Artsy shot
I really hope my partner likes it, I have left the ruffle edges raw and pulled the loose threads to give it a shabby chic looks which I actually really like.  I wasn't sure if it would look unpolished but I do think it adds to the feel.

Fantastic Prize!

I recently entered and won a giveaway over on The Eternal Maker's blog.  I won this very lovely charm pack by Oliver + S, which has such beautiful fabrics in it.
I love the florals in different shades and the clothing ones, they all match really well together.  As yet I am undecided what to use them for.  They are meant for quilts and although I have never made one I am quite tempted, or I could use it to make mug rugs or patchwork cushions (cushions being my new love as you will see in my next post!)  I can't wait for these to be available by the metre, unfortunately they are not yet but you never know!  I love the Eternal Maker website, it has such a large range of different fabrics and designers, and I can't resist sharing a few of my favourites here.
Butterflies and Rainbows by Kokka

Apples by Kokka

Love in Mint by Amy Butler

Vintage Dishes by Melody Miller

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Presents from home

Imagine my surprise to open a package from my Mum to find some lovely new-to-me patterns!
Style 1984
Now I am not a fan of drop waists but I think with a few tweaks this pattern could look good.  I like the neckline on the middle one and the sash and also the buttons up the back of the dress.
Style 1992
This is a very '80's dress, I do like the bust line and the little tie front and the buttons down the front which you can leave open or closed depending on how daring you feel.
New Look 2003
This is quite an up-to-date pattern but I am just not sure about the drawstring waist and the big pockets on the trousers.  It could look cute on the shorts in navy or red, lend them a sailory edge.
Pattern Tracing Set
Last but by no means least, a pattern tracing kit!  My Mum found this in Lidl in one of their weekly bargain sections and I have never seen a set like this before.  It has tailors chalk, a pin cushion and several sheets of tracing paper and has been designed for use with 'pattern magazines.'  This is so perfect for me!  I love buying Burda and this will work well with it.  Anyone else pick one of these up?  I don't know how much it cost but judging by the fact it was from Lidl I doubt it was very much.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Burda Style July 2011

It's July so that means it is another summer issue of Burda Style.  I love that the Burda magazines are in tune with the seasons as it annoys me when summer mags start talking about what to wear in winter!
So my favourite pattern is......
 This really cute skirt from the Seaside Scene section :)  Isn't it pretty?  I can see it in so many colours and patterns and it is young and sweet for Burda which tends towards the more grown up woman most of the time.

This is just a simple tube top but I really like the sequinned fabric they have used and the elastic top and bottom will keep it from falling down.  I haven't seen sequin fabric that is patterned before, just one block colour.  I'm not sure where you could get this in the UK but I will have to keep my eye out.
This snazzy pink colour is the designer dress pattern by Dice Kayek which I am just not sure about.  I quite like the daring  structural shape but I am sure it is something that I would not wear myself but it would be a learning experience to sew it up.
This stylish jacket is from the Simply Black section which has lots of little black dresses but I think the tailoring on this jacket makes it something a bit special.
I also really like the clothing in the Romantic Mood section, maybe it is just because it is pretty girly and full of lace.  This boat necked shirt is really pretty and floaty, I can see it looking pretty in minty green.
I am loving the lacey ruffles on the front of this shirt, the same technique could easily be used on any shirt pattern but this sleeveless pattern keeps is casual.
This is a hairband tutorial with lace and pearls which I think is really fashionable right now but also something that really suits me.  I am looking forward to making my own version of this.
There is also a section on making your own cupcake inspired decorative items which is also very in fashion at the moment and is all over the internet.

 So for my worst dressed...
I really don't understand these trousers, they have a low crotch, high waist and the rolled up cuffs look like something from the '80's.  Not me, but I am sure some people love them.

There is also a really lovely lace kimono but for some reason my scanner just doesn't want to scan it right now, will try again in the morning.