Sewing practice

This week I have been mostly mending, which in fairness uses pretty much the same skills as some of my crafting but never the less is much less glamorous.

My sewing course has started again so my main crafting time is in use, so will probably get a few smaller projects for the next few weeks.

I had a bonus free evening this week so decided to make a little project to practice the skills I had been taught on my course this week. Being, French seems, corners, reinforced corners and curves.
I thought I would make a little pocket bag just to practice (as I dislike doing things without an end purpose).

Used some fabric quarters I had picked up for the charity shops. Picked this one as it had a nice rounded pattern that made a decent curved shape for the flap. On actually getting round to cutting it I realised it was not a very even curve so used a plate as my template.

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Quite pleased but clearly need much more practice…and maybe a proper pattern next time.

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Super hero day

R class is doing a super hero theme for the term so of course they have to have a super hero day.

I’m not going to go out and buy a costume just for a day event but I will adapt previously made items to make up a super hero outfit.

R had had a super hero themed birthday party (as requested) earlier this year and I had made a few super hero items including capes and masks (see previous post). So asked R to pick a cape and a super hero logo (had given her the option to make her own up but she chose the “S” from Superman). We then when through my fabric stash and she picked out the colours she wanted the logo in.

First to make a template. Since she had chosen a pre-existing shape I simply looked it up. I used the ones found here:

I used a graphics programme to copy out the superman logo on to its own page then enlarged one for the back of the cape and shrank one for a belt buckle. (both printed on the same A4 sheet)

I ironed on some wonder web to my fabric pieces then drew and cut out my templates. Cut the insides first, as these were the most likely to go wrong, then used may snazzy new rotary cutter to do the edges in a snap.

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I ironed the cape logo directly on to the cape but the buckle logo I ironed on to another piece of fabric.

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I put a line of purple stitching just inside the edge of the purple to make sure everything stayed attached.

For the belt buckle I cut a piece card to (roughly) the right shape, then wrapped the fabric around and stuck it down with glue. I had planned to attach it over other belt I had that fitted her but it has been lost, possibly thrown. So I had to improvise. I had a length of the purple fabric that was just too short to get around her waist which i sewed into a strap with a few pieces of elestic at the back filling the gap and giving enough so it could just be pulled over her waist.

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She seems very pleased with it

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Frozen Castle

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I love my girls and for the moment my girls love the film Frozen.

As it turned out my 5 year old wanted a Frozen castle for Christmas. Now she was very happy with the gifts she had got but was quite put out that Santa had forgotten this very important item. Mummy didn’t know.

Of course, we had lots of conversations about being grateful for what we have and explaining you can not have everything you want. Santa brings you presents not everything your heart desires. Then she went and had a ball in a new ball pit (which she had also asked for).

I had considered buying her a castle, even looked it up, curiosity really, but the prices (especially post Christmas, when most places had sold out) were extortionate!

Then a crafters mind wanders and starts thinking … it wouldn’t be too hard to make one would it?

I had a few ideas how but thought best to raid the realms of Pinterest first. Have to say some mum have found some great ways to make different castles but my favourite was this one from We got our hands full

Well I didn’t have the castle pattern print out but it seemed an easy enough shape to make. Dug out a cardboard box that was going to be recycled and made some rough sketches based on the pictures in that post.

Hid the cardboard pieces so the kids didn’t see it during the day.
The next night I got a proper ruler (not the side of a lovely new garden set) straightened the lines, actually measured towers so that they were evenly sized, centred the balcony and door properly. Then I started cutting. (I cut one side panel then used it as a template for the other side panel)

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Notice no roof sections. That is because I sized them up after putting the castle together because it seems easier to me to get all the slots in the right place that way. Remember I didn’t have a print out pattern to cut round (may have been easier to look for one in hind sight but it all turned out fine)

Next the painting

That was the real trick. Firstly to get the right colour and secondly to hide the pieces every morning before the girls came into the sitting room as I had to leave them out to dry over night.

Painting took 4 nights so that they had 3 coats of paint on both sides of each panel. I made sure to paint vertically so had any streaks (not really shown in the pictures) they just would add to the ice effect.

Out of interest I used the girls poster paints mixing blue, white and a small but increasing amount of green on each layer, with an equal amount of PVA glue for added strength and to make sure it would stick to the cardboard and any labels.

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The floor of the castle needed to have the snowflake so again I searched on-line (Google this time because, on this occasion, Pinterest failed me) and found a version closest to the one in the film. Find the one I used here. Cut it into a hexagonal shape as didn’t fancy doing all the detail on the snow flake and not sure it would have added to the effect either. Printed it out on photo card (slightly thicker than photo paper) I just stuck this down with PVA.

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Finally the characters, because there is no point having a castles and no one to play in it.

For this I came across some wonderful printables. My chosen one for this project found here

Because of the size of the castle I had to print the sheet out at A5 size. I cut them most of them out leaving the white because I was afraid it would make them too easy to bend and break if I tried to cut out the detail.

I stood them up using cut pieces of cardboard rolls (from things like tin foil and wrapping paper). I attached them with glue and double sided sticky tape (double sided sticky tape attached quicker, glue sticks longer and better once dry)

Once attached the card rounded a bit which actually improved the appearance of them (I think so anyway)

Time to put it all together and see if it works.

Once constructed I sprayed the structure with some glitter varnish spray I happen to have in my craft stash. It has given it a lovely shimmer, again not really shown in the pictures but if you look closely at the close up of the balcony you can just about see it.

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I’m pretty pleased with myself I have to be honest. It has come out rather nicely and little miss was very happy to find it. OK it is not the strongest structure as you can only really pick it up (safely) by the balcony level floor board but definitely a success.

Please let me know what you think?

If I was to continue or do it again I probably would actually make a base for it and paper mache along the joins for strength. I had decided against putting a rail on the balcony and I think it would get in the way of play .

I very much recommend searching out fab ideas on Pinterest and for more ideas, and cool print outs please feel free to check out my Frozen board (yes I had to make one)

Long post hope you enjoyed it

Bottle holders

My littlest E loves her water bottle. When ever we are out and about after having a drink it is a great challenge to get her to give it back so we can carry it for her.  Little slips mean the bottle has quite a few accidents and thus a shorter life.

In September, I think, I came across a pattern for a water bottle carrier in one of my magazines and thought that may well solve this problem.

I have come across multiple patterns since, here is 1 I have linked to on Pinterest.

http://believeninspire.com/2014/07/diy-water-bottle-cover-back-to-school-sewing-ideas-easy-sewing-projects.html

I looked at the instructions then promptly ignored them as I got going. I used some wading I had left over for my tablet cover as the central layer. I also didn’t have a long enough price of fabric to make the strap so instead made 2 straps that attach with buttons so it is adjustable. Bonus!

I had to wait to make the button holes until I learnt how to use the button hole attachment on my machine but fortunately had signed up to a sewing course so finished my first bottle holder (the blue spotty one) after my second lesson.

The second bottle holder (red) was made as my course project. Also made my eldest happy to have her own bottle holder.

 

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