31 March 2014

Mummies and Bunnies and Twig Trees


The title nearly rhymed didn't it? I have had a busy but very enjoyable weekend. Saturday was spent mooching around in the good weather and then spending time out and about and playing crazy golf and eating yummy food with some good friends. Sunday, of course being mothers day here in the UK, was spent visiting the lovely mummies, eating more lovely food and generally catching up/chilling out. I really can't get used to loosing an hour to daylight savings though. Its going to be lovely having some daylight in the evenings (maybe I can actually take blog pictures in the week now) but I feel likes its earlier in the day than it really is, and getting out of bed this morning was a killer!


Anyway, I mentioned the other day getting back to some old school sewing projects and here you have it, some Monster Magic inspired bunnies ready to hang up in time for Easter. I designed the patten myself  based on an old bunny pattern I had (which have been described as looking like teeth wtf?!?). They are mostly machine sewn with the exception of the french knot eyes and the closing seam. The body is made from fleece and the ears from felt and cotton fabric scraps, these are such good little projects for using up those small left over bits you can't bear to throw away.

I really enjoyed doing this again. I love the little bit when you sew on their eyes so they have real faces, or when you stuff and sew their husks and make them come to life. Is that strange? oh who cares.


My sister has a lovely twig tree in her house and I wanted to steal her idea to use for displaying things on at the craft fair. I contemplated doing a tutorial for this but to be honest I don't think you need to be taught how to suck eggs so here you go:

Twig Tree Tutorial:
1. Gather some sticks
2. Paint them with emulsion (or don't like Rachel's)
3. Stick them in a vase/plant pot/ other receptacle
4. Hang things off it!
 If you want to secure the twigs I wrapped them in a cut up car sponge and then just shoved it in there. If you want to cover the top of the receptacle I used shredded tissue paper but you could also consider things like glass beads/sand etc.


So after the sunshine, the gardening, spending time with families and making these bunnies it really feels like it should be Easter already. The urge to go and buy a chocolate egg is getting far too strong.... must resist. Have you been inspired to make anything Easter related/themed lately, or have the signs of spring sprung you into florals? I would love to hear/see what you have been making.

28 March 2014

A little of Everything and Nothing at all



I really feel like all my blog posts should have a 'point' or a specific focus to them to make them as informative and interesting to read as possible, however I have come to realise that that can sometimes be quiet a tall task when also trying to keep up a regular schedule. Sometimes other things in life just get in the way and I either haven't had time to make something to tell you about, or I have had the time to make it and not enough daylight hours to take pictures to be able to show you. So rather than post nothing at all when you expect something from me I thought I would just tell you a bit about what's going on in Fox land.

As you know I am massively busy with all this craft fair malarkey. Its actually really nice to refocus on making things which I haven't made for such a long time, and remember how and why I enjoyed it (more on this later when there is some daylight in my life!). Its also really nice to try out some new ideas and get together with other crafty folk and see all their talent focused into some amazing things. I am really enjoying the process of this, but I am also really looking forward to being able to refocus on other things afterwards.

Mr Fox is ramping up to the last weeks of his dissertation so he really truly is head down in his laptop most of the time. It will be great when he finishes because I feel like we don't spend much time together in the week at the moment. Its not a major problem, just one of those things, but it will be nice to have him back again. It has meant I have had all the time in the world to focus on making things which is good. I am wondering how I am going to find time to make stuff once he has finished the dissertation as most of our other hobbies are actually 'together' hobbies. I think I might try to structure my time a bit and make some designated specific sewing time, otherwise I always feel really guilty when I go off and do something on my own. His favourite is that 'I'll be back in 10 mins' and 2 hours later I come back saying 'sorry, I got distracted and I just wanted to finish xxx' (you know how that goes right?). Do any of you have this kind of issue? I imagine there are many of you with small children to work around as well as husbands and work and everything else.

Chataigne shorts 

I have a sewing list as long as my arm. I have the Zinnia skirt on the go, the lady skater cut out ready to attempt the overlocker and I need to make a velvet circle skirt before it gets too warm to ever wear it. I have some spectacular fabric to match my new shoes which I want to make a dress out of to wear to a wedding in the summer, and I have just bought the Deer and Doe shorts pattern which I know I am not going to be able to resist for long. This is just the tip of the iceberg as well. How do you manage your sewing pile? Priority, whim and fancy, or do you actually make a queue system? I think I need some help on figuring this out!

I also got a fabulous new handbag. You may or may not be aware that Blizzard have released a new free to play game called Hearthstone. I am obsessed with this shit, and literally cannot wait for them to release it on IPad (its honestly not the only reason I wanted an IPad!). But of course if I am going to be able to truly portable play this I need to be able to carry the IPad about with me don't I, cue a NEED for a new handbag. I scoured the internets for days trying to find something big enough for this and all my other crap, with a zip so people can't whip it out from under me. I really couldn't find anything on the 'internet high street' at all, but eventually I stumbled across this Etsy Shop: Milloo. These things are gorgeous and exactly what I was looking for, and the bonus, he is in Greece so lovely EU shipping and no import tax, SCORE. I really wanted the Elessa bag in stripe canvas but he only had one with a yellow trim and you know it needed to be pink. So I emailed him and he very happily offered to make me a custom order which is now listed as an option to buy, yes my taste is awesome haha! Even with him custom making this it took less than 2 weeks to turn up and he provided excellent customer service, I can't recommend this shop enough, so thank you very much.

Crossbody bag, shoulder purse in stripe cotton and hot Pink leather - Elessa bag
I think that's about it for now from me. I have a busy weekend planned with Kitchens and Friends and of course Mummy, but hopefully I will find some time in there to take some pictures for more bloggy goodness.

24 March 2014

Get Bunting!


I am afraid that the wardrobe sewing is taking a bit of a back seat at the moment with our Easter charity craft event just round the corner. This doesn't mean I have stepped away from the sewing machine though, oh no, this week I have mostly been making bunting (lots of bunting!). All this bunting will be for sale though, so hopefully my time will have been very well spent and this will all help to raise more money for charity, definitely a worthy way to spend my evenings.

I was inspired to make this by all the lovely weather we have been having of late, and the amount of time being spent outdoors. It just makes me think of summer fetes, and country villages. I love how a lovely colourful bit of bunting can just lift the spirits and brighten up even the dullest of spaces. Check out how much more exciting it makes the grey walls of our living room. I think I am going to have to make a bit for myself after all this is over. 


Anyone can make bunting (though of course buying some pre-made for a charitable cause is much more justified!). All you really need are some fabric scraps and some ribbon/bias tape. Mine was made using mostly donated fabric scraps from a colleague, she donated a really big bag of fabric so it was nice to be able to utilise all the different colours in there. My method was to cut out two triangles using a template I drew up myself and stitch them together leaving the top open. I then turned them right side out, ironed them, sandwiched the top between some folded bias tape top stitching all the way along. The bunting at my wedding though was just one layer of fabric so you don't even need to go as far as I did.

I am really pleased with how they came out. The blue and pink one is deffo my fave (here's me kind of hoping no one else wants it!). What do you think? Have you made bunting before or do you own any? Where do you proudly hang yours? I would really like some for outside the back door under the overhang, it would make the back of the house look really pretty :)


21 March 2014

Needle Felted Flowers


The last couple of weeks Ellen, my lovely boss, has been kindly sharing her knowledge of needle felting with a group of us at work by showing us how to make our very own needle felted flowers.


The reason for showing us this technique is to make flower brooches which can be sold as part of our charity craft event running at the beginning of April to raise money for dementia. Realising of course that these would make lovely mothers day gifts we have been given the opportunity to donate up front and take our lovely creations away with us.


The process of needle felting is actually very simple (and can be a great stress reliever!). You start of with some pure, dyed, unspun wool known as 'roving'. This can then be mixed together using a method called 'carding' so you get a mottled effect, or single colours can be layered on top of each other, both creating beautiful effects. You then use a felting needle to repeatedly stab the wool which bonds the fibres together allowing you to create shapes. The needles have little notches on them which is what helped the fibres to fuse together. For creating flat shapes it is easier to work on a piece of sponge or foam, repeatedly turning, but you can hold the piece (being careful not to stab yourself) to make 3D shapes and sculptures.


I think these turned out really great, especially as a lot of us had never used this technique before.I would really urge you to have a go at this if you are able, its a really satisfying and quick little project. I also had a quick go at machine stitching over a felt shape to make this little leaf (which was meant to be a feather but still!) I think its really cute and effective.


17 March 2014

Simplicity 2258

I am cheating a little bit with this post as this is actually something I made around a year ago, post GBSB1, that never made its debut on the internets.


The Pattern: Simplicity 2258
View: C
Fabric: Leopard print cotton (I think quilting)
Fabric Source: Derby Eagle Centre Market


About the pattern: This is the first item of clothing I made from a pattern (apart from a corset) in many many years, I don't know why I feared it so much. I was determined with this pattern that I would follow the instructions and sew it word for word. The pattern is actually really easy to follow and the construction was simple. This actually was the perfect starting project. It has an elasticated waist so no fiddly fastenings, but the pockets and tie make it a bit more interesting.


About the item: I hate it! I mean its really horrible. The skirt itself is really nice and the pockets are really deep and AWESOME, I want to keep my hands in there all day! I like the length as well. However; the elasticated waist is not flattering, I really don't like the tie bit, I know it hides the elasticated bit but it just feels really big, and the shape of it on me just makes me feel like I am wearing a sack. I think a lot of this might be down to the poor fabric choice (I know, I know, novice seamstress sewing in quilters cotton!) but I am reluctant to remake this because of the elasticated waist. It really is a shame as I really want to like it.


I am sure one day I will find a suitable fabric/use for this pattern, I maybe need to figure out the darts whilst keeping the pockets and add a zip in there. But that will wait for another day. Do you have any items you love to hate/hate to love? I would be interested to hear about them, I am sure we have all been there done that at some point. 

p.s. I apologise for looking grumpy in these pictures, the neighbours 16yr old son and his mates were hanging out in the garden, and needless to say, I was trying to look less weird than I already did taking pictures of myself in the garden!

14 March 2014

I got me an overlocker!

Last weeks edition of The Great British Sewing Bee was so timely as it came just 4 days after I put in my order for my very own overlocker. I am so excited to give this baby a go.


I have never used an overlocker in my life and have no idea where to even start. All I know is that looking at my wardrobe, and the type of clothes I like to wear, they are mostly all made of some sort of jersey or stretch fabric so this will make attempting to sew them so much easier. Now I know I don't NEED an overlocker by any stretch of the imagination, but I came it to a bit of bonus money recently and thought I might as well treat myself. Who doesn't love a new piece of machinery or tool!

I wanted to make sure I did a bit of research first as this was my first time buying one. Things which are looked out for are:
  • 3 or 4 Threads: Having the option for either or means that you have a larger range of stitch type options.
  • Rolled Hem: This will turn under and overstitch them edge of the fabric, perfect for hemming
  • Differential Feed: This is an adjustment to alter the feed so that fabrics don't become too stretched or gathered giving you a beautiful flat seam (see example below).
  • Retractable Cutting Knife: Allowing you to sew decorative stitches without cutting the seam
  • Colour Coded Threading: Allowing you to see easily how to re-thread the machine
  • Adjustable Cutting Width: Change the amount of the seam which is cut
  • Variable Seam length and width: Some come with one or the other or neither. I wanted a good variation on this.

I opted for the Janome 9300DX in the end because it was within my price bracket and on comparison gave a good range in stitch adjustments for what I wanted. However if you are thinking about a cheaper version Tilly has been raving about her Brother 1034D.


The picture above shows you what differential feed really means (the clue is so not in the title). It is a dial that changes the amount of 'give', for want of a better word, in the seam stitches. If you look at the top one my differential feed is not set correctly and so the seam is stretched and out of shape (not good). If you turn the dial (up for jersey) then you change the differential feed and you can see this has made everything nice and straight and flat, magic. So that is what differential feed means, I know, I didn't have a monkeys either so don't worry. I will definitely be showing you what happens when I get to have a proper play with this.

Do any of you have an overlocker and have any tips or tricks for me? Alternatively, if you are thinking about one why do you want it? And I hope this post might have given you a bit of an insight in to what to look out for. 

13 March 2014

Yeti's

black gray yeti closepurple yeti facepurple yeti fullpurple yetiFox yeti fullFox yeti face
Fox yetiwhite purple yeti 2white purple yeti close 2white purple yeti full 2black green yeti closeblack green yeti
black gray yetiblack gray yeti faceblack gray yeti close fullblue yeti close facewhite purple yetiwhite yeti
white yeti closewhite purple yeti closeblue yeti

Yeti's, a set by Monster Magic1 on Flickr.

And here they are, look at all these fluffy guys! I think I will make a little 'homage' page to Monster Magic for the nostalgia.

Monster Magic Showcase

green icecream closeicecreamspink icecream fullchoc icecream closewhite icecream fullgreen icecream full
choc icecream fullwhite icecream closepink icecream closegreyowl41purple owly closeturq owly
blue yeti facebrown raindeer red scarfbatsallwhite cat face angledworm1purple batty close
black cat full viewblue raindeer closewhite purple yetipink owly closegreycat2brown blue bunny close

I am just looking through my old Monster Magic photos and have a real yearning to make another yeti soon. I miss these guys.