21 Dec 2011

Merry Christmas

{and  a prosperous New Year}

Frankfurt woke up covered in snow yesterday morning but sadly today there is not sign of any snow...well there are still a few days left so I still hope for a white Christmas.

I just wanted to share with you some of the Christmas things I made ( mostly last year).
This year we had two Christmas wreaths - the first one, for the front door, I made this year by wrapping up a shop bought straw wreath with pieces of gingham fabric and adding (sadly also store bought) felt decoration.

The second one I made a couple of years ago and it is simply a thick plait consisting of three fabric tubes filled with toy stuffing. The tubes are attached at the top, hence the big ribbon to cover that. Last year I added florist's wire to make sure the wreath kept its nice and round shape.

I love our Christmas bunting. It was one of the first things I made four years ago when I first started to sew. On the gingham triangles I added and angel, a heart and a Christmas tree, using blanket stitch and it gives the bunting this slightly "country living" look.

It was my intention to provide a tutorial for this patchwork fabric covered bauble ( sorry, maybe next year, or  maybe a similar looking Easter egg :-).

Salt dough heart shaped cookies, adorned with fraying pieces of gingham fabric-  I made those two years ago and they still look lovely. I will make new cookies next year, as I love how nice they look on the three.

And off course our Christmas stockings - also made last year. 
This one is mine - lots of presents...

This one is for Lovely Little Daughter - we were living in London and the time so there are town houses, a snow covered path and street lights...

...there is even light in the street lights...

This one is for Lovely Husband and it was my first ever go at free hand machine embroidery. Beginners luck as they say...i never managed again.

And here is the so much anticipated Advent calendar...i should have simply gone for sweets and chocolate but with health in mind I decided to go for little gifts - honestly now I am not sure it it was such a great idea...my girl loves it...i feel she is getting spoiled. However it looked really pretty.

And now my dearest readers, I would like to wish to you and your loved ones a very merry Christmas and a fantastic and creative New Year!

Irina xx

22 Nov 2011

Back for good

 { I missed sewing)

My dearest readers,

I hope you’ll forgive my (almost) unannounced absence from Blogland… things have happened and I have been left without energy, with no creative vibes to keep me going…All is good, and in the next few weeks I will share more with you, and since my creative energy is starting slowly to flow back I even made a few things and attended a little fair last week.

I made some Christmas cards for the fair, and what a better way to return after all those weeks than by showing you a little tutorial of how to make those easy cards for your loved ones!

Machine Sewn Christmas cards

This is what you'll need for each card. Leftovers from green and red fabrics are really useful.

I find it easier to glue the red squares to the card with tiny drops of glue.  I also glued the purple ornament with a single drop in the middle.

Put the squares in pleace and let them dry.

Start making your tree by first sewing the trunk with a single short line.

The back should look like this. Pull the front thread to the back and tie small knots.

Stitch the rest of yout tree pieces and make sure each piece overlaps the previous so you can't see the stitch.

Prepare the ornament by stitching the ribon and the zig zag and than trimming them to the shape of the ornament.

It should look like this...or similar.

Attach the ornament to the card with a single tiny drop of glue and let it dry. When dry simply stitch the ornament to the card as shown below. Sewing surves on paper is not as easy as fabric, so you probably have to reposition the needle a few times to create a smooth curve.

The gift is easy...just straight lines on the sides and two straight lines inside. I forgot to take a photo of making the bow but it is simply sewing and stopping to reposition and make sure you are comming up with a  curve. Don't worry if both sides of the bow are not simetrical.

You could finish at this point or if you have stamps just wirte a little message.

Here you have them...hand made cards for your family and friends!

Oh, it is so good to be back!

Happy creating!

13 Oct 2011

Creative blogs

 {I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I do}

Hi, today I am a guest blogger at Roca and Co. I am a frequent visitor at Carmen’s blog as she has shared there some fabulous ideas. Please do go and have a look at Roca and Co – you have already seen my Autumn Dress tutorial, but have a little browse and I am sure you’ll find something to inspire you - I am particularly fond of her appliqué ideas.

Carmen also has a weekly linky party each Thursday, which is gaining more entries by the week and it is also a source of many nice ideas.

And just to tickle your curiosity here a few of my favourites from Roca and Co.

Another lovely blog I would like to tell you about is Coconut Collier – it is written in Spanish but you don’t need to speak Spanish to feast your eyes on the lovely little creations that Núria makes ( and you can always use Google Translate :-). 

I totally heart her miniature felt broaches and key rings. Also Núria was very sweet to gave me an award a couple of weeks ago – thank you Núria, you are lovely!!!

Please forgive me for not posting so much lately. I have a little project in the making and I can tell you more about it soon.

Irina xx

11 Oct 2011

Recycled Jumper Felted Dress

{loving autumn leaves}

We have been going to the park regularly to collect conkers and leaves– conkers are very important in the life of a three and a half year old, you know.  The more the better, they are used to cook with, as form of payment and even as treasures hidden in secret places, especially pockets. 

The leaves we collected were so lovely that I decided to make leaf appliqué. An old felted jumper from my husband provided the fabric, so I decide to make a felted dress. This is the second piece of clothing that I have made from an old jumper. I love the fact that something which initially was heading for the bin can be reused; and also all those felted jumpers are made of 100% wool, so are sure to keep my girl nice and warm on cold days.
The dress was really fun to make and I can’t believe how easy it is to sew with felt. I am yet to clean my sewing machine – apparently felt fluffs a lot, so a regular clean is a must.

1-3 You’ll need – an old jumper, or other wool felt fabric, pattern, and scraps of autumn coloured fabric (I chose browns) and a nice selection of leaves to use for your appliqué.
4. Make your pattern – fold and existing dress that fits in half and trace around it (adding seam allowance) to create a simple A line dress pattern.

5.  Place the pattern on your jumper / fabric and trace with magic marker or water soluble pen. Cut the dress shape.
6. Pin and machine stitch the dress on the sides (I later wondered if it was better to stitch the shoulder bit – like in photo 9 and add the bias tape around the arm hole first and than sew the sides together – YES it is better)
7 - 8 Trace a selection of leaves onto paper and cut. Use Vlisofix or freezer paper to trace and iron the leaves onto your chosen fabric (photos 18 -19)

10-12 Add he bias tape – I first stitched one side of the bias tape to the back on the garment, and than fold it and stitched on the front – photo 11 – it gives it a very nice neat finish
The button closure at the back was absolutely easy to make. I followed this tutorial – its fool proof.

Here it is - a very easy, recycled jumper dress!

Happy sewing!
Irina xx

4 Oct 2011

Late summer and fat free cupcakes

{ or a lot of appliqué}

As a general rule I try to keep my bloging as a Monday to Friday activity, so at the weekend I tend to keep a low profile. And this weekend was the last long weekend before Christmas and we were really lucky to have a very warm and sunny start to October.

Here are a few photos taken in the park yesterday. 

Can you spot the little dragonfly patiently waiting for me to take a photo?

Lovely Husband and I were lucky to sit in the park, guilt free, for 3 whole hours on Sunday afternoon while Lovely Little Daughter was enjoying herself at her best friend’s birthday party. I didn’t know that even three year olds have best friends…

As a gift for the lovely birthday girl, I made a name cushion. Names cushions are hugely popular here in Germany and people really love them. I was told that the birthday girl liked colourful pink so here is what I came up with.

I enjoyed making the cupcakes so much that when I finished the cushion I had to make a cupcake appliquéd t-shirt for Lovely Little Daughter. 

And as it turned, one t-shirt was not enough so I made another one….and here is the verdict…I absolutely love appliqué embellishments.

Off to read blogs now...

Wishing you a creative week!
Irina xx

29 Sept 2011

House shoes

 {and enjoying the weather}

Autumn is really here, but it actually feels more like summer…warm sunny days…the kind of days we should have had in the summer but didn’t really have. I am not complaining but actually enjoying the Indian Summer despite the fact that Lovely Little Daughter is sick and off course I will be the next to get that cold.

Well before the weather warmed up I decided to make some house shoes. A certain little person in our house loves to walk barefoot but with the cold days just round the corner I though I’d make something she might actually like wearing in the house.

I made a pair of slippers from and old issue of Ottobre magazine. And although I even reduced the size the slippers turned out huge.

Well, I am sure they’ll fit next year but what about this year…so decided to make a pair of sock slippers, and making my own pattern by drawing around her feet.

I am not completely satisfied with the outcome, so I guess a third pair would be in order.

I saw this lovely idea for a hand print autumn tree on Pinterest and knew we should try it. So Lovely Little Daughter made it especially for daddy. She used wine corks dipped in colour to make the leaves. 

Hope you are enjoying some warm weather too!

Irina xx

23 Sept 2011

Twenty ways with piping

 { a collection of piping ideas}

There are two reasons as to why I decided to write this post – first, there is a common belief that piping is not easy to use and second, people seem to relate piping mostly with cushions and nothing really exciting. So I am on a quest to show you that piping is not only easy, but versatile and beautiful and there is no limit to the ways it can be used. I for sure will be using more piping in my projects.

So to tickle your imagination and in the hope that you might find some inspiration and courage to use piping, I have collected a few lovely projects all made with piping.

I won’t bother you with words; photos work better for me so here are no less than 20 fabulous ideas including piping, all made by fellow bloggers.

For the home

1. Piped cushion – this is a little set I recently made for a birthday present for a little boy and it will go all the way to San Francisco. I love the way the contrasting piping complements the light gingham.

2. Floor cushions – so fun to have around the house and I will definitely be making some of those. I love both styles - there is a round one I found on a great blog called Living with Punks

And also a square with a nice tutorial  from Sew Mama Sew.

 3. Here is also a great idea about a piped bench seat by The SCI Project…the white piping looks so lovely with the blue fabric.

 4. Off course there is no limit when it comes to cushions so here is a star shaped cushion by Sew A Straight Line - lovely...

And the letter shaped cushion you have probably see in one of my prevous posts.

 5. You didn’t think it was all cushions did you – how about a kitchen utensil cover. Check out this lovely toaster cover by T Party. I know I have a mixer in my kitchen that needs covering.

Something nice for us

6. Include piping in your project and make a lovely weekend bag like the one below from Done Well

7. Threat yourself to a gorgeous clutch – also with piping. Check this beauty from Titus 2 Homemaker.

8. Invite your friends around for tea – and show off with a beautiful tea cosy like this one from My Creative Eye. It's so sweet!

 9. If you have never attempted clothes – what better excuse to make some new trousers and to add contrasting piping like these from Scruffy Badger Time

 10. And if you like a very girly and not too complicated project to try piping than have a look at this lovely sleep mask by Roubidou…adorable!

11. Look at this - a piped cover for the sewing machine…I would love one…this one comes from Pammie and The P's

For the little person in your life

13. For the tiniest person in your household – why don’t you give the old car seat a new look – I am completely amazed by this tutorial  by Make It Love It – fantastic!

13. The baby boy cot bumper also uses piping and I think it is amazing from Sew Dang Cute.

14. Check out the cutest Ladybird baby bottles ever – with piping…sooo sweet! From Is Five

 15. If you fancy trying out piping but you need  a simple project than have a look at this lovely bib with piping – so clever! By the lovely Soule Mama
16. For girls the options are endless – piping is a lovely way to embellish a dress – check out the gorgeous Pipe Dreams dress  from Me Sew Crazy – now isn’t that adorable!

 17. And what about this lovely piped skirt from Leafy Threetop Spot – OK, I realise there are more piped ideas for girls…sorry mums of boys!

18. Oh, here is something for the boys…an absolutely lovely idea how to make piped pockets by I Kat Bag…I think it is adorable – red gingham combined with denim!

19. I loved this brave idea by Me Sew Crazy to use piping to make a butterfly!

 20. An absolutely fantastic Back to School idea from I Kat Bag - pencil cases at Sew Mama Sew – I love the colours!

And now I would like to show you two very interesting ideas – have you heard of scalloped piping? No! Neither did I until two days ago when I found this tutorial by Sew Blessed – the piping is absolutely gorgeous!

So you are familiar with piping now, but have you heard about cording…check out this tutorial about how to make this fabulous bowl made by Ooops I Craft My Pants…you can choose any colours for any ocassion – I can’t wait to give it a try!

I hope you liked this collection of piping projects and soon you’ll be trying it for yourself! 
If you make something using piping that please leave a comment with your blog link – I would love to have a look!

Have a lovely weekend!

Irina xx