Tag Archives: present

An Early Christmas Present

Seeing as the Halifax Hoodie went so well, I had a crazy idea to make K a hoodie as an early Christmas present. Hey June Handmade’s Hatteras Hoodie* is made in exactly the same way as the Halifax, so I felt reasonably confident at my ability to make it.

I chose some blue spotty sweatshirt fabric for the main body, along with some ‘cops and robbers’ t-shirt fabric for the hood lining. To break up the spots, I also cut the cuffs and waistband from the t-shirt fabric.

The Hatteras pattern doesn’t include a drawstring around the hood, which meant I could skip hammering in any eyelets! It also doesn’t include binding on the edges of the pocket, but I added those in just to give some interest to the front panel.

The sweatshirt fabric isn’t brushed like you would expect – it has a furry feel to it, and a definite nap. This means it should be snug and cosy to wear, but did give me some challenges when it came to sewing. I’ve sewn faux fur fabric before, but never anything with the furry side facing out. Of course that resulted in the fabric slipping mid seam, which was a nightmare when it came to attaching the hood.

After two mis-sewn seams, and unpicking far too many stretch stitches, I was at a loss for how to resolve the problem. In desperation, I attached a walking foot, and reverted to a zigzag stitch instead of a stretch stitch – it was the only thing I could think of to try.

Much to my amazement, that did the trick! The hood stayed pinned as it was meant to, and even the cuffs weren’t as terrible as I thought they could be.

The pattern on the cuffs is upside-down…. but that’s an intentional design. I like the idea of K being able to see the pattern the right way up when he’s wearing the hoodie.

The sleeves are a little snug for the bear that’s modelling it, but hopefully it will fit K perfectly, and keep him warm when he’s playing outside this winter.

 


* affiliate link

Fabric: Fashion Fabrics

A New Wallet

Mum had asked for me to buy her a new wallet for her birthday; it had to match the look of her old wallet, complete with a zipped pocket, and velcro closure, but that was easier said than done, as nowhere seems to stock a wallet that style now!

So instead, I decided to be reckless and have a go at making my own from scratch. After a rummage through my fabric scraps bag, I came across some suitable fabric, a zip I’d unpicked from a failed bag attempt, a small amount of velcro that Mum had let me have, and some bias binding that I think was originally earmarked for binding the seams on a bag.

With some measurements taken from the original wallet, and a little planning on paper to ensure I was able to put the zip in without too much trouble, I ended up with a passable wallet that looks almost the same in style as the original! The original wallet did use a more sporty fabric than the polycotton I’ve used, but this way Mum can have a unique wallet rather than something mass produced that everyone else might also have.

The only disadvantage of making Mum a wallet, is that now she has plans for a wallet for every season! But at least it means I’ve already got an idea what I can make her for Christmas.

 

Notebook Folder the Third

In the run up to my Mum’s birthday, I was trying to think of something I could make as a present. I’m not confident enough to make clothing for her, and she didn’t need a new bag – so what could I possibly make her? I did notice, however, that she was using a reporter’s notebook, which gave me the idea of a new notebook folder for her. The original one I made was on Mum’s sewing machine, and proved a struggle to sew through all the layers of fabric. The second one was easier, although I still used non fusible wadding, so I had to quilt the inside cover.

This time, I was determined to follow the pattern (almost) exactly! I used two fat quarters, a small amount of dress lining fabric, and some fusible fleece, so there was no need to quilt the inside cover.

I ensured the button and strap were the right way around this time, as the first attempt had the strap on the inside of the cover, with the seam allowance sticking out… rookie mistake!

I left out the pen and card holders, as Mum prefers to keep her pen separate to the folder, in case the pen leaks.

I cheated on the inside of the notepad pocket, as it seemed a waste to use a fat quarter when you weren’t going to see the pattern. So I used some cream dress lining fabric instead.

The angled pocket was slightly wider than the fabric I had left over, hence the small piece of the second fat quarter in the right corner. But rather than that looking like a mistake, I think it just adds to the quirky appeal of the folder.


Pattern: Notebook Folder Tutorial from Riley Blake Designs
Fat quarters: Hobbycraft

 

An Early Christmas Present

I was looking for something relatively easy to make for K’s Christmas present – his Mum has given me a great idea for a present I can work on for his birthday, but I needed something that would be a faster make for Christmas!

Enter the free Fleece Hat pattern from Fleece Fun – not only was it useful to make my own hat, but it has sizes all the way from baby to extra-large adult! I found just over half a metre of red fleece in my local fabric shop, along with a cute zebra iron-on patch just to liven it up a little.

I did modify the pattern slightly, making the hat a little longer than it’s meant to be, to allow for the brim to be rolled for a snugglier fit. I wasn’t too confident at how the patch would iron on (there weren’t any instructions on it), so I zigzag stitched around the outside just to ensure it would stay in place.

Hopefully we’ll get some seasonal cold weather, so K has an excuse to wear it!

Simplicity 1556

The trouble with buying bubble bars from Lush, is that they come in a paper bag. Great for the environment, but what do you store it in to stop all the pieces going everywhere? I’ve found some small plastic food containers in Poundland that work pretty well, but then you get a pile of them in the wardrobe, which invariably falls over whenever you want to find something.

So, I decided to make Simplicity 1556 for my Mum’s Christmas present – a drawstring bag with pouches around the outside. There’s no dimensions given on the pattern envelope, but going on the fabric requirements, I hoped it would be large enough to work.

basket1

Armed with my red and orange outer fabric, and some nicely patterned orange lining fabric, my first problem was with the usual “fusible fleece”. Not having any of that to hand (and realising that if I bought it from the only shop I found it for sale, it’s cost more than the fabric did), I decided to use 2oz polyester wadding instead. I quilted that to the base and bag linings, so you can’t see the stitching on the outside.

asket2

Attaching the pouch strip was challenging, and some of the pouches are a different width to the others, but it fits the items I want to put in there. I will also admit I messed up the drawstrings, sewing the wrong ends together, but it still draws closed so I’m not going to unpick that!

I wanted to give her a pack of bath bombs from Slimbridge Soaps, but the packet of 4 wouldn’t fit into the pouch, so I made some small sewn bags to put them in individually – that way I can get one item per pouch, so it’ll fill them up 🙂

basket-pouches1

Lush didn’t stock her favourite bubble bar this year, but I did find an alternative – but what to put it in? I couldn’t just put it straight into the pouch, as they sometimes leave a greasy stain and that wouldn’t look good for a present. So I made a quick quilted pouch (quilting the lining again), which should mean the bubble bar can slide in, and hopefully not make a mess everywhere!

basket-pouch2

 

Basket fabric from Fashion Fabrics, Christmas fat quarters from John Lewis

Loyalty Card Wallet

I don’t know about you, but I have so many loyalty cards, it’s hard to find the right one in my wallet! So when I decided to give a relative a Starbucks card as part of their Christmas present, I thought I’d sew a basic wallet to store it in.

I found the pattern at Crafty Cupboard, and found this one a lot easier to follow than the previous wallet I’ve made. I didn’t have any fusible fleece, so I used some lightweight interfacing on the lining and the outer fabric, just to give it some more stability.

wallet1

The pockets aren’t lined, so I’m not too sure how well they will last, but it looks strong enough for the moment. I used a hair elastic and a hand-sewn button to close the wallet – the last one I made didn’t have a closure, so there’s a risk of the cards sliding out in your bag.

wallet2

I was hoping to find a novelty button with a cup of coffee painted on it, to go with the Starbucks theme, but there didn’t seem to be any about so I resorted to a plain black button instead, to match the hair elastic.

Reggie the Reindeer

When I spotted the pattern for Reggie the Reindeer, I knew I was going to want to make at least one of them. I found a pack of two fleece blankets on sale for £3.95, which were the perfect colours for a Reindeer, so he was a bargain to make!

The first Reggie I made had thread jointed limbs, but this one is for a 9 month old child, so I used the alternative instructions to machine sew them into the seams.

spottyreindeer1

If I was to make a third Reggie the Reindeer, I would probably turn the legs 90 degrees before sewing, so they shouldn’t turn inwards at the hoof, but that’s just a minor annoyance for me.

spottyreindeer2

Mum keeps saying that Reggie is a cow (because of the spotty fabric), but whether you see him as a cow or a reindeer, hopefully little K will like him when Santa delivers the package on Christmas Eve!

K’s New Jacket

A couple of months ago, I knitted a jacket for a friend’s baby boy, K; but he grew out of it much faster than I’d allowed for! K’s Mum asked if I could make a larger jacket that would work for the winter. Trouble is, the pattern I used only goes up to 3-6 months, and she was looking for 9-12 months….

I had a rummage through Ravelry, and came across the Simple Hooded Cardigan by Lion Brand Yarn. It looked pretty similar to the Wee Speedy knit I’d made originally, and with chunky yarn I had a feeling that it wouldn’t be a nightmare to knit.

K's Jacket

The main body is knitted in stocking stitch, with a garter stitch edge to the base and front edges. The sleeves were an experience to try picking up the stitches for – I’m sure I didn’t get them quite as balanced as they were meant to be, but hopefully the sleeves are nice and comfortable.

K's Jacket

The buttonhole was pretty easy, just being a yarn over – I was able to use a couple of buttons from my Mum’s button stash, which catch the light really nicely, but also compliment the blue in the yarn.

K's Jacket

I purposefully chose a variegated yarn, as I wanted to have some additional interest in there (and the original one was knitted with one strand of white and one strand of blue, so I was looking for something similar). This was Marriner Mermaid Chunky in blue random – only £1.50 a ball and fully washable, which is essential!

K's Jacket

Hopefully we’ll get some nice chilly weather in autumn and winter, so K can wear his new jacket a lot of times before he grows out of this one too! 😉

Skyline

I found this incredible fabric in the sale for just a pound per metre. I’m honestly not sure what fabric this actually is; my best guess is a kind of canvas – slightly shiny and textured and reasonably thick. The fantastic pattern of silhouetted buildings would be perfect to make something for an architecture-loving friend, but I wasn’t too sure what I would be making.

Going back through my folder of downloaded patterns, I came across the Notebook Folder Tutorial from Riley Blake Designs. I’d made one of these previously, but struggled to get all the layers through my Mum’s sewing machine, so I wasn’t too sure how this canvas would behave!

Notebook Folder

Outer cover, complete with strap and button

The inside of each panel is a black polycotton which compliments the silhouettes and also helps balance the thickness of the fabric.

Notebook Folder

Front cover with strap undone

I don’t trust my hand-sewing enough to stitch the button on by hand, so I machine stitched it on after completing the folder. There was just enough space to sew it in while holding the slanted pocket out of the way.

Notebook Folder

Inside the folder. There’s a pen pocket on the left, and the pouch to the right is large enough to hold an extra large notebook!

I decided to skip the interfacing as the canvas is sturdy enough without it. I couldn’t find any batting in my local shop, so I picked wadding instead and quilted  it to the inside panel so it wouldn’t shift around as I turned the folder the right way around. I also cut the wadding shorter than recommended, leaving a half inch border around, to ensure the final seams wouldn’t overlap it.

The quilting could be a bit neater; if I made another, I might try and make more of a feature of the quilting, picking a better pattern than a simple cross on the back.

Notebook Folder

The inside cover – you can just about see the quilted backing behind the slanted pocket.

I used a denim needle in my sewing machine due to the thickness of the canvas. It stitched really easily, which was a pleasant surprise after the struggles I’d had with the previous one on an older machine!

Notebook Folder

Inside the folder, with the notebook lifted out of the way.

There’s a couple of seams that aren’t entirely straight, mainly because I had the canvas layer on the bottom, and it seemed to slip as the feed dogs fed it through the machine. But overall it came out really well.

Notebook Folder

Finished notebook folder – front and back covers, with the strap

A quick little project or two….

I noticed that a friend was using a really tired-looking purse to hold her store loyalty cards, and decided it was about time I made her a little present. I had some fat quarters left over from my last Hobbycraft purchase, and found the perfect tutorial at Midwestern Girl for a  wallet – it’s a perfect size for those loyalty cards, and should save her needing to use that tired old purse any more!

Card Holder (outside)

And inside the card holder:

Card Holder

If I made another one, I would try to get those corners turned out better – that really lets it down on looks. But it’s practical, which is the whole point 😀 I think I would also add a button & elastic to hold it closed, as it’s made quite loose (to fit as many cards as possible in), but that does mean the cards slide about a bit in the pouches.

 

While I was in a sewing frame of mind, I thought it was time I made my Christmas apron for Gran. Yes I know it’s now March, but Gran requested Christmas fabric for Easter! You can probably just make out the pocket in the photo – that’s slightly higher placed than the last apron I made, and the top is slightly narrower than the first apron, although I think it needed to be slightly wider than I have it. The straps are simple cotton herringbone tape rather than being made out of the same fabric – Gran prefers them to look like that.

Easter Apron