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That skirt I mentioned

Looks like this

Back

Back

Front

Front

The Hello Kitty was the lass’ idea… The pattern is from another Ottobre (I’ll check the issues and update). I didn’t want to “waste” the happy camper fabric on a lining which was not meant to show, so I used a scrap of blue organic cotton. The button is from stash (aquired in a big lot of buttons at a flea market). I must say I’m pretty pleased, I even managed to figure out the whole issue of the fly – something I’ve never sewn from scratch before. The instructions in Ottobre are pretty good, on the whole, though, so I will not claim any unreasonable honour from that.

I made one alteration to the pattern, since I cut it rather big (hoping it will last a while): I added button hole elastic in the waistband with buttons (again from that flea market stash) to enable adjusting it. A good thing I did, too, as it’s waaaaay too wide as is, but looks pretty good once tightened a bit.

Action picture may be forthcoming…

Six months and one birth later

No, I’m not dead, I’ve just been pregnant. I realise this may not really be a hindrance to blogging, but it seems it was for me. As of four days ago I am a mother of two, the lass has a little sister and we’re all doing well. And that’s pretty much all I have to say about that here on the blog (as always, if you’re friends/family and want to see pictures etc. get in touch for the url and a user name for the private blog).

Indirectly, another baby may well influence the contents of blog posts, though, as with the main purpose of this entry which is to show off a bit of sewing.

Every time I sit down to sew after a prolonged break, I curse myself for having forgotten just how relaxing and rejuvenating I find the activity. A few years ago I managed to attend a couple of whole day “workshops” where a few people from the forum at tettinntil.no met up just to work on our own sewing projects for a whole day. I remember at that time pointing out to the husband that that sort of day – to me – is better than a spa break.

Anyway, some weeks ago I succumbed to sound medical advice and let the doctors write me off sick, and suddenly – well, after a week or so of doing basically nothing – I had energy enough to actually start preparing for the baby’s arrival. One thing I realised we’d need was some sort of middling warm outer wear, as the clothes we have from the lass are all meant for mid-winter temperatures, which are unlikely to manifest i September and October (I hope!). So I had a look through a stack of Ottobre magazines and found a pattern I liked, went off to Stoff og stil to find some suitable material, and got to work. Here is the result, sans model:

IMG_2969IMG_2971

I adore both fabrics, and am rather pleased that I purchased a bit more than required for this pattern. I’ve already made a skirt for the lass in the striped babycord, and am contemplating sewing a Mei Tai with both fabrics in the panel somehow, I just need to check that I have something suitable for the straps in an appropriate colour.

Nissekjole

Before Christmas, on the 16th to be precise, I realised that there was to be a “nissefest” at the lass’ daycare the next day and that the only red garment she had was a pair of red tights, and those technically outgrown to boot.

A note on the concept “nisse”. Well, a Norwegian word of the day, if you will. Nisse is a noun, and can mean Santa Claus, but is as likely to mean something akin to gnome. That is, in the Scandinavian tradition, the nisse would live on the farm, unseen, and if treated well would care for animals and people, but if treated badly could really make trouble. Even those nisse that were treated well were fond of pranks, though. One of the things you should absolutely on no account fail to do if you wanted to keep your nisse happy was to leave out a portion of rice porridge on Christmas eve. These nisse are traditionally depicted with red hats, but normally wear a greyish knitted sweather and felted wool pants rather than the whole red get-up.

So when daycare have a “nissefest” the idea is that the kids dress up as little nisse, but they will also, most likely receive a visit from Santa Claus, so it’s all rather mixed up. Anyway, some sort of appropriate dress was expected, and I didn’t even have any idea where our red Christmas hats are (we have at least two, somewhere).

While searching for the hats, though, I found a long sleeved t-shirt that the husband got to wear at work last Christmas. Plenty of material in that, I thought and got to it:

I forgot to take a before picture, but here I've cut out the body of the dress (top left) using a top that fits the lass as a template.

I forgot to take a before picture, but here I've cut out the body of the dress (top left) using a top that fits the lass as a template.

Cutting the arms, still using the top as a template.

Cutting the arms, still using the top as a template.

Notice with the arm that I’m reusing the hem at the bottom of the original shirt, I also reused the neckline rib-finish in the neck of the dress. The less seams I have to sew, the better, especially when it’s a last minute rescue mission sort of project.

The result was pretty good, even if I do say so myself:

Yes, her face is blurred.

Yes, I've blurred her face.

The skirt is made from the bottom of the shirt, which I simply pinned on in four places with the same amount of fabric between them and pleated while sewing (also stretching the top part to create some natural pleats). The ribbon is there to hide the name om my husband’s employers which was printed on the front. On the back is printed “Merry Christmas” in quite large letters, which I left as is, it’s supposed to be a Christmas dress, after all.

Flea market finds

The Sunday before we were due to move we went to a flea market. This was probably a bad idea, on the whole, but we were (well, I was) remarkably restrained. I purchased two plates and one tray for all of 7 kroner, and a sewing machine for 20 kroner.

At least I assume there's a sewing machine in there. They'd lost the key.

At least I assume there's a sewing machine in there. They'd lost the key.

The only worrying thing is that considering this is my fourth sewing machine, and the second purchased within two weeks, I may have started collecting sewing machines…

Figgjo

Figgjo

Stavangerflint

Stavangerflint

Rosti tray

Rosti tray

I’ve never even seen one of these before, but the manufacturer is undoubtable:

Rosti mark

Rosti mark

We also purchased a shower curtain (which we need for the new flat) and a pile of books for the lass.

Friendship bag swap, bag sent and received

I was a bit optimistic earlier this autumn and signed up for a couple of swaps. Well, let’s say I haven’t been able to stick to the deadlines completely. I am contrite, and consistently a couple of days late. I must resist the temptation to sign up for more swaps in the near future. Anyway, one of the swaps was the Friendship Bag Swap hosted by the Quilting Gallery.

Friendship Bag Swap

Here is the one I made:

Friendship bag swap - bag with goodies

I used the pattern provided by Rachel Griffith, because I’m lazy and because it really is quite a nice pattern, and I was rather pleased with the result. The bag is wee, cute as hell. I think I’ll have to make another one to keep.

Here’s a detail:

Friendship bag swap - detail

And here it is all wrapped and ready to go :)

Friendship bag swap - wrapped and ready

A few days after I sent mine off, I received this little gem in the post:

Friendship bag swap - Mine, all mine!

Made by the wonderful Maya.

It came with goodies galore, too:

Friendship bag swap - my present

And now to send an apology to my next swap recipient, I’ll be late…

Refashioning, and not.

I have to use one of these:

Get out of Jail Free

Because I purchased two dresses this summer. One for wearing to a wedding and one because I found that first, and really liked it, so caved, but I couldn’t wear it to the wedding because it was black. So. Both dresses were on sale, though I’m not sure I really think that helps. (Well, it helps my finances, obviously, but not the “do not buy new clothes” angle.)

But the dress was sleeveless and, well, Scandinavian summers can be a bit unpredictable, so I decided I needed a bolero. And I had two of these tops in my wardrobe, one grey and one purple.

Refashioning - not this top, though.

As they were too short for me in any case, and what do I need two pretty much identical tops for anyway, I chopped and spliced a bit on the purple one and got a bolero.

From the front:

20090823_refashion2

And the back:

Refashion done - back

What I did, if you’re interested, was to cut off the frilly bit from the bottom, then cut a reasonable bolero shaped bottom hem free hand then sew the frilly bit back on. Very simple, but very effective, and frankly it looks much better on me as a bolero than it ever did as a top.

Another quilt done, and given away

The scrappy hedgerow quilt is done and gone.

First, of course, it has to be bound. By hand. I guess I could do it with machine stitching, but, no.

Binding

Here it is in all its glory. And I forgot to snap a picture of the back… Oh, well.

Quilt front

As you can see, I did pretty simple quilting on this one – well, I had to do it myself, for one thing. Just straight lines, one wide masking tape width apart, except in the corner, where I did an A, as the recipient’s name starts with an A (I used masking tape to mark out the A, too, and just sewed around it).

20090816_quilt2

The essence of whip-up

Whip-up, really

So. We were at my parents’ house, guests were coming and it was simply way too hot for the jeans she was wearing when we left home that morning. I guess a two-year-old would have gotten away with running around in her diaper, but it did look kind of silly. But my mother, though she sews very little nowadays, can be counted upon to produce remnants when requested, and so was born the ultimate whip-up skirt.

You take:
– 1 piece of material, approximately 30cm x 75 cm
– 1 piece of elastic
– 1 sewing machine stuck in the backwards mode

And you sew. One seam up (backwards) the side. One seam around (backwards) to make a casing. Luckily the remnant had a selvedge, so I didn’t need to hem it.

It took, literally, ten minutes. And it looked d***d good, if I do say so myself. The only thing I’d have wanted to change (apart from the direction of the sewing) is the width. I think another 30 or so cm of material would not have been amiss, but I was winging it, after all.

More WIP

This fabric makes me happy:

Fabric

So does this:

Fabric

And these:

Fabrics

And these:

Fabrics

And these:

Fabrics

Not to mention these:

Fabrics

And this?

Fabric

This puts a big silly grin on my face. Don’t know why. In fact, I’m considering whether it would be an idea to make a dress out of that last one.

For now, though, I’m combining it with the rest of them, as well as this lovely thing:

Fabric

And these two:

Fabric

Inspired by the scrappy hedgerow blocks from Oh, Fransson!

Note to self: Don’t start a scrappy quilt with all new fabric. It defeats the point, sort of. I didn’t have scraps to start with, but boy do I have scraps now.

So you can imagine how happy this makes me:

Scrappy hedgerow blocks

Which will be a present for a very special little lady who’s getting Christened in a couple of weeks. It should give little eyes something to investigate.

I’m in a quandry as to size, though. It’s already too big for a “baby quilt”, and that’s intentional, as I want it to be useful for a few years. But it’s definitely a quilt for a child, with the fabrics I’ve chosen, so it certainly needs to be useable nowrather than in ten years time. So how big is TOO big for a baby/toddler? My blocks are slightly larger than the tutorial suggests, they’ll be 13.5″ when sewn, and I have 12 of them. Even without sashing it will be 40.5×54 if I use all the blocks, and I’m thinking it will look better with sashing. Also, I need to quilt this one myself, and although I was thinking masking tape and straight lines, I still need to get the middle under my needle. How much fabric can I bunch up under the sewing machine arm before it becomes unworkable, I wonder?

Well, I’ll have to decide soon, I should get most of the work done this weekend if I want to finish in time…

More pictures

I finally got around to taking some pictures of the finished quilt – on the morning of the wedding… Here it is, bound and washed and lovely and crinkly.

It’s all done:
Wedding quilt - ready!

Binding:
Wedding quilt - binding

Detail:
Wedding quilt - detail

Front:
Wedding quilt - front

Back:
Wedding quilt - back

If you click through to a larger size of the front you should be able to see that four of the squares spell the names of the bride and groom and the wedding date in place of the “love”. Clever, eh? Even if I do say so myself. Considering this is only my second finished quilt, and my first on a large scale, I’m really thrilled at how it worked out.