31 Mar 2011

A lazy afternoon

Today I finally had enough of my fabric scraps living in plastic bags and decided to make some boxes. Some fabric boxes! I used a great tutorial by The Sometimes Crafter and it is absolutely unbelievable how quickly they were ready. I made two – actually I wanted one, but than I realised that I had matching fabric in a different colour and made another one for my felt cuttings.

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Although I followed the tutorial, I actually bought iron on interfacing. First I ironed the interfacing onto the reverse side of the outside fabric, and than I sewed the corners. It made the edges a bit harder. Also a good tip from the tutorial is to make the lining a littlle bit smaller than the outside of the box. It fits nicely inside.

After I made this box I was so pleased with the result and how nicely it looked on my work shelf, that i decided to make another one.

My little daughter was so patient with me and my sewing that I decided to make a crown for her. I've been wanting to make this crown for ever. It is from the book The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule, and its really cool. For some reason I imagined it pink, but my daughter demanded a red one - her favourite colour at the moment. And mummy loves polka dot!

And than we played with Playdoh...

And sent an MMS photo to daddy...

Hope you all have a lazy afternoon sometime soon!

Irina xx

23 Mar 2011

Easter egg hunt felt basket

With Easter in mind I decided to make my daughter an Easter Egg bag from some strong felt leftovers I had. I saw something similar in the US but i usually try not to buy " Made in China" stuff, especially if I can make it myslef. I am light years away from providing a decent tutorial so here are some simple instructions. First I made a flower template and traced it over the felt. I made two whole flowers and two half flowers.

I used softer felt for the base, but personally I think that hard felt would have been better, however in my case was too thick to sew. I attached the yellow felt, which made the bottom of the basket, to the half cut flower shape. Next I did the same on the other side. Can you see, it is starting to resemble a basket!
Now I cut the extra part from what was the inside flower shape, like this:

The basket ended up looking like this.

Next I decorated the flower shapes. Once i was happy with the choice of fabric ( same as last year) I used Vlisofix and a hot iron to attach the cut fabric pieces to the felt. I than appliqued the flower using brown thread on the sewing machine to outline the shape of the figure. I really like this technique, it can never be perfect but it looks very cute. Off course my daughter is helping me hold the fabric in place. Next I attached the outside flower to the inside flower. I decided to baste the felt to keep both pieces in place so i didn't have to worry about pins.

I used a contrasting yellow thread and a simple decorative stitch from my sewing machine. Not to forget a handle attached with some buttons and here is the finished basket. Now from the other side. However, I found a little problem.. The outside flower was heavier than the inside and was pulling slightly so I had to attach the inside and the outside part together.

Finaly to complete the look I added two tiny stuffed felt creatures - a ladybird and a buzzy bee. Finished!!! I hope my daughther will have lots of fun collecting Easter eggs in her basket! Love, Irina xx

22 Mar 2011

Lovely little owl

Just wanted to tell you about a lovely little owl, which is up for grabs at Made by Mama all the way in Australia! I don't really know why I am telling you this as the more people sign, the smaller my chances of winning it, right!
Well, because I am like that, just can't keep nice things to myself and the owl is absolutely adorable with big eyes and a heart patch on the front!
And who doesn't like winning stuff!

Irina xx

21 Mar 2011

Korker ribbons

Although sewing is my biggest passion, I occasionally indulge in other crafting activities like knitting or hand embroidery. I also always wanted to make some nice and different hair clips for my daughter but always got put off by the "fabric – glue" combination. I just don’t do glue on fabric, but I guess I have to rethink this concept.

Last week at a friend’s house I saw a lovely hairclip made from lots of spiral ribbons. I have never seen that before and had no idea how the ribbons were twisted like this. So you can imagine my excitement when I found an online tutorial by Made by Mama (check out the fairy wands tutorial too) explaining how to do Korker ribbons – now I even know the name, thanks Rita.

Well, shall I say it was a pretty poor attempt at Korker ribbons, or so I thought – I had only a little bit of grossgrain ribbon and the only wooden stick I found in the house was a chopstick, a rather big one. Determined to succeed I followed the tutorial, baked my ribbon as instructed and came up with a little lees than 20cm of twisted ribbon – not enough, not at all.

Eventually I sew all Korker ribbon pieces together, added a little cherry button I bought on the sale in the UK, attached an old hair clip, and unexpectedly I must say I got quite pleased with the result. I left the clip on my daughters bedside table to find in the morning. I was lucky I took some pictures last night, as she has been wearing it since she opened her eyes and refuses to give it to me to take more daylight photos, hence the bad quality photos, appologies!

I will definitely be making these for little girl's presents.

Irina xx

19 Mar 2011

A soft ball for a little boy

A few weeks ago my brother and sister-in-law welcomed a new addition to their family - a lovely baby boy called Simon, a little brother to a very cute young man called Jonas. And what better excuse than to start making some little baby goodies ( I am not sure if I have mentioned before but I find more inspiration when I know that my creations will get immediate use).
And when I looked at the fabric I got in New York last week I immediately knew that I wanted to use the Aliens and Music Notes patterned fabrics - they are so sweet. It was a real shame they were just end of roll and I couldn't buy more - well I guess it makes the ball that bit more special.

I found a lovely tutorial on Sew Mama Sew. In fact the balls are made by Laurraine from Patchwork Pottery, another one of my favourite blogs. The tutorial contained the best tip - when cutting the pieces cut on the bias, it makes a huge difference.

I also wanted to make the ball a bit more interesting for a baby and added some cotton ribbons; I think they feel much nicer than polyester ones. Luckily I had enough to go around. However you will see that I need a lot of practice to get the pieces to look perfectly sewn together - it was a bit tricky, I admit.

Also my label Horstmann & Little is there but the photo didin't come out very well. Really need to work on my photo taking skills!!!

I hope you like the ball, and I sure hope baby Simon will...
...next to come is a pink ball for a little girl who'll be one year old in a few weeks!


Irina xx

18 Mar 2011

A true SATC experience

On a recent trip to New York, I couldn't help but goggle in advance some fabric shops, and despite the rain and the strong desire to go back to Macy's I managed to make my way to a lovely shop full of amazing fabrics and other goodies, called The City Quilter.

Oh what an experience, a true Sew and the City affair! No three year olds to pull you out, no time schedule to follow, just a nice relaxing afternoon spent amongst yards of colourful fabrics, beautiful quilts hanging from the ceiling and any sewing gadgets that you can imagine. They even had a quilting class and I couldn’t help but peep around the corner and try to catch a tip or two…

I had to physically restrict myself overspending but still managed to buy yards of lovely fabric, some long quarters, the cutest pastel coloured buttons ever and very importantly dressmaker’s carbon paper. Not sure how to use it but I know it will come in handy. Oh, and also some Quilters freezer paper, I am sure I read somwehere about it...must be important.
And of course picked up a few American crafts magazines – can’t beat those!

Already made something with two of the fabrics and will show you tomorrow, promise.
Irina x

Cupcakes for Clara

As I already told you that I can't find the cable to download the photos from my camera, I would like to tell you about some of my favourite things on the web.
Before I even new that blogs existed, I somehow came across a blog which I have grown to love...it is Cupcakes for Clara. Clara, being a little, slightly cheeky felt girl, who is absolutely adorable (despite the fact that she is so cheeky). Her creator is Laura who has recently published her first book...you guessed it, it’s all about felt toys. The book and the creations inside are super cute...my daughter is only three, so I might be getting the book for myself.
Here is a link to the blog "Cupcakes for Clara" where you can find more about said book...put the kettle on and enjoy...


Irina xx

Jaybird Quilts

I have so much to tell you and to show you too but ...i can't find the cable for the camera to be able to download the photos...can you belive it!!! I have looked everywhere...and it is nowhere! I will look again but in the mean time I can tell you about a nice blog with lots of giveaways I have found recently...check out Jaybird Quilts.


Irina xx