Archive for the ‘Sewing’ Category

Hmm…so, a bit of a gap since my last post but the title pretty much sums up what we have been doing…

Very sneakily, the Bean has turned from a toddler into a little girl – very talkative, very inquisitive and very much fun.

Thanks to some unseasonally good weather, the outdoors has been a source of great entertainment and discovery…

Discovering poppies almost the size of your head…

Taming the wilderness in your very own backgarden…(wearing very pretty pink gardening gloves, of course)…

and planting potatoes with Daddy (using the Bean method of planting i.e. stand where you are and hurl the potatoes as far as you can)…

Looking back over the photos I have taken, it was these three of Bean that made me realise how much she has grown up in recent months. Tired after “a very busy morning Mummy” ‘reading’ the menu in a cafe…(i.e. choosing from the options I gave her – but making the decision all by herself after much serious consideration and brow furrowing)

and ordering from the waitress all by herself (“‘scuse me lady…”)

and best of all, loving not only what she had ordered but that she had done it all by herself.

Despite the title, there has only been a little bit of sewing going on here, not for lack of wanting (my sewing machine is too noisy to use whilst Bean is asleep, which leaves me sewing most times with a very enthusiastic little helper. This is sometimes wonderful, sometimes not – depending on how much I want to concentrate). Thankfully my current project is a very simple one – a quilt for the Bean, simply 8.5 inch squares sewn together. The Bean’s contribution to my sewing could be anyone of the following: silly shrieking at the ‘scary noise’ my machine is making; constant enquiries of “can I touch the pins Mummy?” ‘um, no darling, that’s propably not a good idea’; to close observation and then sincere comments of “ooh, you very brave Mummy” ‘am I?’ “yes, to put your hands in there”; but the most common is sitting on my lap or standing, being ‘in charge’ of the reverse button. This apparently ‘has’ to be pressed every time I pause sewing, accompanied in most cases by enthusiastic shouts of “go!” and “stop!”. I hadn’t realised how much Bean considered this to be her job – until I set the machine up the other day. I was sternly informed “that my button Mummy. If you press it, I be very angry”…hmm…a conversation about sharing soon followed…

Here is the ‘in progress’ shot – more photos soon. Well, I say soon…


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Well, my current WIP is trying to get my blog up to date!

In the meantime here’s a little bit of crafting I did recently for the Bean’s second birthday!

A birthday crown, following the excellent tutorial over at Frontier Dreams!

Proper wool felt is really expensive, so for the actual crown I used the best cheap felt I could find in my local craft store. I had to join two pieces, hence adding the purple strips between each of the motifs. For the designs I used felt I had purchased a while ago from Paper and String – I urge you all to buy from Sarah, the service is excellent and my gorgeous felt rainbow (45 different shades of wool mix felt) was beautifully wrapped with a hand written note and best of all, very reasonable.

The Bean is very fond of ladybirds, hence…

I was really pleased how this turned out but my favourite was ‘Gerald’, a character from one of Bean’s favourite books, ‘Giraffe’s can’t dance’ (spoiler alert – it turns out they actually can, I was as surprised as anyone…)

I’m never sure how much to ‘add’ to a project – I wasn’t sure about the leaves at the time but now I love them.

I also traced and messed about with illustrations from another of Bean’s favourites ‘The Smartest Giant in Town’, to make a special birthday card…here’s an ‘in progress’ picture…

I’ve not yet taken a picture of the finished card – but it looks great (if I do say so myself).

The simplest but most time consuming part of the Bean’s birthday preparations was making the party bags for her little friends. For some reason I decided to make party bags for the littles. The bags were simple rectangles, machine sewn then cut with pinking shears. Inside were stickers, colouring sheets printed from the ‘net and for some reason, which made perfect sense at the time, each bag contained a knitted hedgehog.

This little fellow wasn’t to0 pleased about having to share his cake.

(Shh! They’re coming!)

The pattern is by Julie from Little Cotton Rabbits. Julie stuffs her hedgies a little more but I think mine look pretty cute! I love visiting Little Cotton Rabbits as Julie knits the most wonderful toys – I am just hoping for the day that she releases a knitting pattern book as currently she only sells the finished toys. The pattern is very simple (sensing a theme here?), each one probably only takes 20 minutes max and the reaction from the littles was absolutely worth it!

Right, blog semi-updated. Now, off to check out what everyone else has been up to!

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One of the craft projects I have been working on recently was for a very special birthday for my very special niece – it’s not every day you turn FIVE, you know!

After seeing various posts from crafters such as One Hook Wonder, The Toby Show and Soulemama (plus many more, i’m sure) – I decide to make a Princess and the Pea  playset. I revealed my shocking wood work skills in a previous post, but after a few coats of paint I think the bed turned out okay in the end. Yep, I’ll admit it, it came together pretty well (despite my usual mid-craft-project crisis of confidence – any one else get those?).

Remove the fleecy duvet cover and you reveal the reason for the brackets in the title – a rather chubsy princess!

She’s obviously been eating more than just peas.


I used a piece of blue fleece which I had been trying to think of a way to use up for a long time. It made the perfect filling for the mattresses – I just kept sewing until the fleece was gone, I think I made 16 mattresses in the end.

The pea was my very first needle-felted project (an easy way to start!) and came in its own hastily made drawstring bag (although spares could be made in about 15 seconds!)

I realised, the day before the birthday that I had forgotten to make a bag for the playset. Having a little girl of my own, I now appreciate that a gift with lots of parts to lose is much more appreciated (by the parents) if it comes with its own storage! This bag was made in a panicky hurry, although it turned out surprisingly well since I’d not made a gussetted bag before. I like my crafts to be intuiative (in other words easy – I’m rubbish at following instructions) so instead of following one of the many excellent bag making tutorials, I had a think for about two minutes and then attacked the fabric with pins and scissors. Thankfully it worked and fitted almost perfectly (perhaps a bit tight around the bed). How I’m not sure.

Anyhoo, once the bed had been prized from the bag’s vice-like grip, it seemed to go down quite well with the Birthday girl! (Chubs is sleeping in this pic ;-) ) 

My niece had a fairy party which gave The Bean the perfect opportunity to wear one of her Christmas gifts from my sister.

In retrospect I don’t think it goes well with the trousers…

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I love that I am creative. I may not be the greatest craftswoman in the world (In fact, I’m fairly sure that I’m not) but I like that I’ll give anything a go. I love that I can combine old shirts and new fabrics to create playmat/quilt for my friend’s beautiful new baby…


I love that with enthusiasm (and a good deal of frustrated swearing) I can turn offcuts of wood into a shockingly shoddily made dolls bed (part of a princess and the pea playset for a certain niece who is about to turn 5)…

Are either of these the reason for the title of this blog?


…The Bean is very fond of my comb and likes carrying it about, ready to comb her or my hair at a moments notice. This morning as I was rushing out of the house I couldn’t find it, no doubt tidied away in her play kitchen (she’s also very fond of tidying, apparently everything lives in her washing machine), I have a spare, somewhere, but thankfully my creative mind sprung into action…it’s surprising effective combing your hair with a fork. Yep. That’s how we roll.

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Some of my lucky (?) friends and family got lovely handmade goodies for Christmas…here is just some of the crafting goodness that went on…

These cushions were made for a couple of friends. The cushion on the left is of the flag of our county – (thankfully it’s quite a simple flag  – gotta love straight lines!) but my favourite is the bunting cushion on lovely thick cotton sheeting, which gives the cushion a nice crisp, weighty feel. Thanks to a recent discovery of ‘Bondaweb’ this cushion was ridiculously simple to make. I simply cut out a large rectangle for the actual cushion, hemming the ends. I then cut out four triangles from fabric and Bondaweb and ironed them onto the cushion*. I then zig-zag stitched around each triangle to add definition and (hopefully) longevity.  *Before getting angry with the Bondaweb and curse it for not working, check you have first removed the backing paper…and that’s all I have to say about that.


I was really pleased with how this turned out (once ironed). It was a idea that had been floating about in my head for some time (at any one time, a small proportion of my brain is always thinking about bunting), which is always dangerous as if it had turned out badly I’d have been all the more disappointed, but it actually turned out really well. 

I also made some felt Christmas tree decorations in a variety of designs, some decorated with buttons in muted tones, some bright and some ‘vintage’ shirt buttons (i.e. cut off an old shirt destined for the recycling but let’s call it vintage and it sounds so much better).

I also made a little bunny for my niece T. It’s always a bit worrying giving a toy to a child as you have no idea how well it’s going to be recieved – so naturally I was thrilled when she immediately hugged her and said “Oh, I shall call her Ballerina Bunny Love”…erm…okay then, as long as you’re happy…

My favourite part was the little shoe laces (admitedly that’s probably not the technical ballet term).

They looked somewhat different after a night of hugging.

Tsk, I nearly forgot (again). Although not at all related to Christmas crafting, here’s a shot of Poorly Micheal which I made for cheering the Bean up when she gets sick. I’ve shown it to her and she’s pretty much shunned it, however I’m hoping he’ll grow on her, or she’ll never get sick, either suits me fine.    : )


I got the idea from Nicole at One Hook Wonder, who in turn got the idea from the inspirational Molly Chicken blog (I’ll try to find the proper links later). I love the way we have all interpreted the idea in a different way whilst still keeping similar elements.

That’s all for now folks…

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The Bean and I spent part of Saturday at my Mum and Dad’s house, which meant that while the Bean was playing with blocks (more destructing than creating it has to be said)…


I attacked a pile of sheets with elastic bands (as you do)…

Sheets 2 

…to make some lovely tie-dye goodness!

 TD 1

Not sure what i’m going to do with these (there were just a ‘few’ more), i’m thinking either quilt backs or made into tote bags for Christmas.

Last week I finished up a little craft project for T and P, it’s felt cookie dough for their play kitchen (like I need to explain…)

Molly 20th September 2009 023 Molly 20th September 2009 024

Molly 20th September 2009 025 Molly 20th September 2009 026

Admittedly not the most complicated thing I have even made but probably hopefully still fun if you are 2 and 4. Perhaps I won’t give them the big wooden rolling pin though.

Just because

And a picture of the Bean, just because.

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Fab Fab Fab-ric!

I love getting parcels through the post, especially ones that look like this…

How exciting!

A little peek at the goodness inside… 

A little peek...

Fabulous material from Michael Miller Fabrics!

Retro rocket rascals

Aren’t they cute! They are ‘Retro Rocket Rascals’ and ‘Bunny Travel’. I love them both but I think I love the bunnies just that little bit more… Here’s a little close up…did you see the Bunny in the top right corner wearing a baseball cap? So cute! 

Close up

Michael Miller Fabrics also do an amazing range called ‘Bot Camp’ – featuring some very cool robots indeed (however, i’ll have to wait for my next birthday before I get another parcel like the one above).

ooh, another one

I have a fat quarter of the Rascals and 1 metre of  the Bunnies. I’m going to make a cushion cover from the Rascals but I haven’t quite decided what to do with the Bunnies yet. I have a little wicker storage unit which I am going to paint up for Bean’s room, so maybe I’ll use a small bit to upholster the top but what to do with all the rest?… Mmm, the possibilities… :)

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