Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Bandana Bibs

With a number of babies born in our circles recently, I thought it was time to whip out the old Bandana Bib tutorial I posted on here years ago and whip a few new ones up as gifts. Can't believe how long it has been since I created this little pattern and first made bibs for B.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Knight of the Realm

One of the things I love most about being a mum is whipping up homemade costumes for B, just as my mum once did for me. For Christmas, I joined forces with Mr B to create a Knight's costume. Mr B created an ever so special hand painted wooden shield, and I sewed up a tabard. Yesterday, as the new Spring sunshine started to stream down on Bath, we took a walk up to Sham Castle with Knight accoutrements tucked in the backpack ready for a picnic feast and a battle. And we cooked up plans to return there in the summer and recreate the afternoon for a Knight themed party when B turns 4.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Fabric Play Crown Tutorial

Following on from my last post, here is a tutorial for how to make fabric play crowns. These crowns come together really easily and are multi-sized due to being tied by ribbon.

What you need:
  • Pattern.
  • Two different fabrics.
  • Wadding if you have lighter weight fabric. I used offcuts I had left from the wadding I use for quilts. For thicker fabrics like heavy linen or furnishing fabric, you may not need to use wadding.
  • 50cm of ribbon - cut into two lengths of 25cm.
  • Thread.
one. Download, print out and cut out the pattern. 
two. Fold your fabric in half, right side together. Place the pattern on the fold of the fabric. Draw round the pattern with a pencil on the wrong side of your fabric. Cut out 1cm bigger than the pattern shape. Repeat for your other piece of fabric and your wadding if using.
three. I find it useful to then draw in the peaks of the crown onto just the front fabric as this makes it easier for sewing.
four. Now arrange your crown sandwich. Place your wadding down first. Place your backing fabric on top, right side up. Place your two lengths of ribbon on top, about 2.5cm from the bottom. If you're adding a personalised label, now is the time to also pop that in, folded in half. Then put the main fabric (with your full pencil lines) on top, face down. Pin it all together.
five. Now sew all around the crown leaving a large opening along the bottom edge. I start from about 3/cm in along the bottom edge, reverse stitching over the end, then doing the side, the peaks, the side and then another 3cm of the botton edge before reverse stitching again to finish. This then leaves a big gap to turn through.
When you get to the bottoms of the peaks, it's worth slightly curving your stitching as this helps to keep the peaks flatter when you turn through.
six. Now trim off the excess fabric, getting as close as you dare to the tops of the peaks, but don't trim off the fabric along your bottom edge opening.
seven. Turn the crown through. I use a thick knitting needle to help gently prod the peaks to sharp points.
eight. Iron the crown, gently flattening out the points, and folding under the open flap ready for sewing.
nine. Top stitch the now ironed bottom edge of your crown right the way along the length. Reverse stitch at both ends to make the stitching secure. Snip the ends of your ribbons in a V to prevent them from fraying.
And you're done. If you make any of these play crowns, I'd love to see the results so do send me a link or a photo. Happy crown making.

Fabric Play Crowns

Around November last year, as Christmas loomed into view, I got to thinking about what crafty project I could undertake to make gifts for all of the small people we know. Our Christmas list featured 18 children so I wanted to make something personal that also didn't us cost the earth. I've been seeing a number of fabric play crowns for sale on various websites recently, which are beautiful but really pricey considering how easy they are to make. So I figured out how and ran up a pile of them. It was a great use of all the pretty fabrics in my stash and it was lovely to hand pick a fabric that I thought might suit each child. I'm delighted with how they all turned out, plus now we're well past the festive season, I can now share the fruits of my labour.

I also made a little tutorial in case any one else fancies making their own - you can find the link here.


Saturday, 17 May 2014

Telephone and Birds

A bright and happy quilt, created for close friends as their wedding gift.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

A Roll of the Dice

During a recent stay with my Mum, I was reminded of a game my sister and I played as children with my Nan. She had created a large dice by sticking spots onto an empty tissue box and each time we rolled it, we had to count the number of dots, and then jump that number. Passing on the tradition, Mum had found a real bouncy giant dice. B, in a new counting phase, loved the game and happily counted out the spots and jumped out the number. So on our return home, with a perfectly square cardboard box to hand, it took mere seconds and some big neon stickers to create our own giant dice so that the game can continue.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Bath / Prior Park Landscape Gardens

One of our most favourite day trips in Bath is to catch the open top bus from the end of our road, which drives us up the amazing Skyline route of the city, and then drops us off at the top of Prior Park Road ready to enter the National Trust property of the same name. This bus is fabulous for many reasons. Prior Park Landscape Gardens doesn't have a car park (other than disabled spaces) so it's not the most car friendly of locations. B loves riding on the open top bus, and it's a little known fact that the normally highly expensive tourist buses only charge locals £2.50 for a short route instead of the normal whopping great £14. So all in all, a great start to the day.
After a picnic at the top of the grounds, we head down one of the steep winding paths to the bottom of the gardens, collecting twigs and swinging on gates as we go.
As we near the bottom, we spy the incredible bridge, standing majestic over the the lake and usually accompanied by the odd swan and a small handful of other visitors. 

B loves running over this bridge, and I love sitting on a bench with a coffee from the little refreshment hut, soaking in the tranquility of this beautiful place tucked mere moments away from Bath city centre. We really are spoilt for choice in Bath when it comes to National Trust properties - getting membership was one of the best purchases we ever made! You'll notice in these photos that B is attired in two different outfits as the photos were taken in Autumn and now at the start of Spring.
We normally exit the property from the bottom gate (it saves the steep climb back up the hill), and walk along the back streets of the Widcombe area of Bath, past some utterly beautiful houses and the picturesque Thomas a Becket church.
Then after an ice cream and a drink on Widcombe Parade or in Prior Park Garden Centre, we join the canal and walk home peeking at the boats and watching the locks in action. A lovely early Spring adventure.