25 Jun 2011

Mail Organiser

It will be a bit quiet on my blog for a couple of weeks as we are going away on holiday tomorrow. But before we leave I will be popping into a fabric market. It happens once or twice a year in different parts of Germany and tomorrow will be in Frankfurt. I hope to buy some nice fabrics and make some photos to show you.

Together with the washing and packing today, I managed to find an hour to make something for Lovely Husband. The idea came to me last month as I dutifully “filed” a couple of bills under a big pile of Country Living magazines and somehow managed to forget all about it. So the unopened letters were finally discovered by Lovely Husband who suspected I had mislaid them, and I decided to make a mail organiser. It is strategically hanging in the corridor so theoretically letters should be placed in each pouch straight away.

I took photos while making it and it and it took just over an hour.

So here is what you need – 4 square pieces of outside fabric, 4 square pieces of inside fabric and 4 big and 4 small rectangular pieces for the straps. You can choose any shape for the pouches; I made squares simply because I did not have more space to hang it. Oh, and don’t forget a nice twig carefully chosen by your little one (preferably on a dry day) to hang the mail organiser.

I appliquéd each pouch with our initials.

I used the simple method of sewing the inside and the outside pouch face together, leaving a big bit open on the back side to turn it around and so to be able to insert the straps.

When both pouches were ready and attached to each other, I added the top straps before finishing it off. Don’t forget the twig!

I hope there won’t be any more lost letters in our house!

Wishing you all a nice summer break! Northern Germany here we come!

Irina xx

21 Jun 2011

German Handmade Culture

It’s been a while, but I haven’t deserted you, I’ve just been busy … I wish I could say I was busy crafting and making but unfortunately, that would be a lie.

A surprising meeting a few weeks ago resulted in a most unusual acquaintance as I bumped into one of our old neighbours. We didn’t have a lot of time to talk, or the means to exchange numbers, so as we parted I handed over one of my “business cards” as it contains all of my contact details. Little did I know that I was going to get a lovely comment on my blog as I had no idea that my former neighbour is a fellow sewer and maker, passionate about fabrics, colours and making things – from girl’s clothes, to stuffed horses, to cute tea cosies, to name a few. We have since seen each other a few times and it seems the time is never enough to discuss fabrics and designs, pattern making and bias tape tips, English sewing books and German handmade sites. I have had my first taste of clothes making – only theoretically so far, as clothes making is something which I have always avoided as it is so hard to make clothes, isn’t it?

So Lovely Former Neighbour has since opened up another world of fabrics and ideas. As my German is so poor, I hardly ever attempt to browse German sites, and although I suspected it, I was quite stunned to see all the creativity to be had among German fellow crafters, a truly inspirational community!

I would love to share a couple of sites which I hope you'll find interesting even if you don't speak German:

  • A new craft community website has been launched recently called Handmade Kultur, it is full of projects and information, ideas and photos. It even prints its own magazine! Oh, how I wish I spoke better German, must learn!!!
  • Farbenmix – translated Colourmix, is a shop crammed with tutorials and photos of items made using their fabrics and trimmings. By the way it is especially famous for its very beautiful colourful trimmings
  • Sewing Cloths Kids Love - simply the cutest kids clothes book I have come across- lovely Dutch inspired fabrics combined together to create the happiest and colourful kids clothes
I hope you enjoy a bit of German inspiration! I know I do!

Irina xx

6 Jun 2011

Free Motion Embroidery

Anyone who has ever attempted free motion embroidery on their sewing machine would know that it is quite tricky! Yes, believe me…quite tricky! In my case the bottom thread often gets chewed and creates lumps which stop me from moving the fabric. And since the stitch size has to be set to zero, it is all in the hands of the sewer, and despite the fact that my knuckles go white from gripping the embroidery hoop I always fail to follow the line I have pre drawn. What can I say, it is annoying…and what makes it even more annoying is that a man (OK, I am being a bit feminist here) has managed to master this not-so-easy-to-master technique and without any drawing or the use of a embroidery hoop is able to create the neatest free motion sewing!

I was pretty speechless the first time I saw this video. The man in question, Paul Nosa, is an American artist who creates his own label and with the help of his solar powered sewing machine tours the world to show his skill – if only I could do it too! The sewing not the touring, although having said that, sewing touring is actually not a bad idea!!!

Irina xx

1 Jun 2011

Love letter

Just wanted to share with you a photo which Lovely Mum sent me of the letter shaped cushion I made for her last week. It's the letter D, and mum requested that it was made in soft shades. She quite likes light browns, creams and pale greens. So I made it in beige gingham and chose linen fabric for the side. I also choose the dark brown piping to compliment the light colours and make the shape stand out! My mum loves it!

I love you mum!

Irina xx