Around the Block – Nautical Style

Going through my photos, I realised there were quite a few sewing projects that I hadn’t actually blogged, so be prepared for some random changes in my hair length with photos!

This is the Around the Block Hoodie, which features a contrast diagonal panel across the bodice and sleeves, plus in-seam pockets and a cross-over hood.

I didn’t want my contrast panel to be really contrasting, so I picked out two designs of French Terry which had matching background colours, while still being within the same nautical theme.

The hood itself is lined with the contrasting fabric, which I also used for the ties. So far I’ve not been able to find some quality ribbing to use for the cuffs and waistband – everything I’ve used has either been quite thin, or has lost its shape after a few washes. Rather than risk that again, I stuck with the main fabric for the waistband and cuffs – if that stretches out in the wash, then at least the entire hoodie will stretch along with it!

The only thing I wish I had done, is shorten the pattern to allow for being 5′ tall! This hoodie is considerably longer than the ones I’d normally wear. However, after wearing it for a while, I’ve got used to the longer length, and it does keep my warm!

Most, if not all, hoodies have a kangaroo pocket on the front, but because of the diagonal panel, the Around the Block hoodie has in-seam pockets. They weren’t hard to sew, but sometimes I find myself going to put something in the pocket on the front – which of course isn’t there!

My nautical hoodie is finished off with some multi-coloured topstitching – I had some Gutermann red white and blue variegated thread left over from a previous project, which worked really well.

With the way our weather seems to be heading, it won’t be long before it’s chilly enough to wear this again!


Pattern: Around the Block by Ellie and Mac
Fabric: French Terry from Mibs

More bears?!

I’m sure you’ve realised that I really enjoy sewing bears – especially ones from the Polar Bear pattern that was in Simply Sewing several years ago. I was offered the opportunity to make something using this faux fur, and it just had to be two brown bears!

These bears were made at 200% sizing, which was just the right height for this one to try helping to sew his brother!

I’d crocheted these mugs and cakes several years ago, and they seemed the perfect photo props to use for these two bears.

Not long after these photos were taken, these two bears went on a little adventure of their own, moving to live with an old school friend’s two sons.

Head over to the Minerva site to find out more about these really cuddly bears I made.


Pattern: Polar Bear from Simply Sewing issue 24
Fabric: Chestnut super soft cuddle faux fur from Minerva

Football – mail art

With Euro 2020 taking place, I had to draw a football themed envelope, although I’m not convinced that Donald Duck would get through the entire match without at least a yellow card!

Because I want to make sure the address doesn’t run if the envelope gets wet, I used a permanent pen for the faux calligraphy, and also for the typewriter-style address lettering. Maybe I need to get a permanent brush pen, so I can write the address in ‘proper’ calligraphy!

This just in – mail art

“This just in” – the classic words of news anchor Kent Brockman on The Simpsons. I had another attempt at using my watercolour pens to colour the drawing – this came out better than my previous attempt, but it still doesn’t really look fully blended. Maybe I need to use specific watercolour paper instead of a generic envelope!

Ribbit ribbit

I’ve never made plushie frogs before, but when I had the opportunity to make something from Velboa, it seemed a natural choice!

I’ve sewn with various styles of faux fur before, but Velboa is totally new to me. It does have a nap (so the fur can be brushed in one direction), but this particular velboa has an abstract pattern where the nap changes direction multiple times. This meant it was a bit more challenging to lay the pieces out, but I tried to just get the background nap in the same direction at least.

I wanted to try out the glow in the dark fabric paint I bought in the sale from Minerva a couple of years ago, so I used that on the white felt eyes for two frogs. It does give them a bit of a strange look in daylight, but the glow works perfectly once the lights are out at night.

As you can tell from my stack of frogs, there’s also a Manta Ray lurking with them. I had enough fabric left over after making those four frogs, and thought a Ray would be a good companion for them.

Head over to Minerva to check out my Ribbiting make!


Patterns: Frogs by Choly Knight & Manta Ray by Choly Knight
Fabric: Velboa Faux Fur Garden Mint from Minerva