2015 Retrospective and 2016 Sewing Goals

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I may be a little late with the New Year’s greetings, but better late than never ‘ey?! There are a lot of retrospectives at the moment about hits and misses of 2015 on blogs … I too have had my hits and misses of the year – I guiltily confess that I am a more zealous poster of hits than I am of misses!

Despite me thinking that all of my makes when they are finished are my best make yet, there are certainly some that have worked out better than others. For me, hit criteria include anything from having had lots of wear, to being practical, from being beautiful, or to simply bringing me joy. With these criteria in mind, here are my hits:

My Mum’s Quilt: This quilt was a true labour of love, but I love everything about it now it’s finished. I’d learned a lot from my first few quilts and enjoyed having the opportunity to put this in to practice. I love to think of my mum enjoying this quilt and I hope it stays in our family for years to come!

Collette Patterns Moneta: Moneta was the output of my first dressmaking course, so not only is she an incredibly practical garment to wear, but she also holds sentimental value of nights spent at sewing school with Christine. I learnt a lot making this dress, especially about altering a pattern. I’m almost too scared to try and make another, as I don’t think any will be as good as the first!

Tilly and the Buttons Coco Dress: Everything about making this dress was a joy. The fabric choice was perfect, it was my first time using faux leather, I love wearing it, it’s cosy and warm, chic and comfortable … the list of reasons why this dress is a hit is endless! Ironically though, this pattern also contributes to my misses. I tried to make a second version in black, with a boat neckline rather than the cowl neckline and it was a disaster. The fit was bad, I tried to rush it, the boat neckline flashed my bra straps in a really unflattering way … the list of reasons it was a miss is endless. In the end I didn’t even salvage the fabric I am embarrassed to say!

Espadrilles: I love these because they were something totally new to try! The pattern is a great way to use scraps and I found them so comfortable. They were also a good opportunity to practice hand sewing. I really enjoyed wearing them on holiday in Asia, and shall look forward to wearing them all next spring and summer!

Scrappy Leather Coin Purse: This was a totally spontaneous make and it must be a hit because I’ve used it every day since I made it! I’ve become really attached to it. I never thought of myself as a small purse person before, but somehow it really works for me. It’s simple, soft, classic, and I got to try out sewing leather with my machine while I made it. Awesome!

McCall’s M6992 in florals: This is definitely one of my most worn makes. I love the colours, the fabric and the construction was a joy (apart from that incident with the two left sleeves which we shan’t mention again!). Interestingly though this is a second pattern where I had a miss second time around. I made this pattern in black lace covered jersey with solid black sleeves – exactly the same size, similar fabric, but it just didn’t come together that well. If I’m honest with myself, I think I thought the first one was so great I’d just whip up a second one in no time, and I wasn’t as careful as I could have been. It’s not unwearable, so not a total miss, but certainly not my favourite.

Burda Sweatshirt 6718: I made this sweatshirt for my boyfriend and he wears it a lot, so I think that counts as a hit! I also made a second one for my dad for Christmas, and although I am yet to see evidence of him wearing it, it does fit him and the construction was great. The second one I made was also my first full project with my new serger, so it’s a hit in terms of symbolising Serge and I finally becoming friends.

I also have an as yet unblogged hit … the Brooklyn Skirt from Seamwork. This one has been a total hit for me, from construction, to fit, to practical use! Coming to a blog post soon!

So that was 2015 … what about 2016 I hear you ask?

This year I’d love to take it up a notch … there’s a few things that I’ve not ventured towards and I’m thinking now might be the time!

  1. Buttonholes – for someone with a button collection as large as mine (I just LOVE buttons), I really do need to make more garments with buttons and buttonholes. I’ve had a very jersey focused year this year, as I love the comfort and easy care factor, but I think it’s time my buttonhole foot and I really got to know each other. I’ve never even tried one!
  2. Lining – I am yet to line a garment … I’ve always found the concept a little scary. I know however I need to master this if I would ever like to conquer my coat aspirations. I have my eye on making a Brooklyn Skirt in a wool brocade with an exposed zip which would be crying out for a lovely navy blue lining. Let’s see if I brave it!
  3. Serge – I want to spend more time learning how to optimally use my serger. I was lucky to get an amazing overlocker book for Christmas, so I think I’ll be spending a lot of time with that first!
  4. Homeware – as we are moving house this year, I’d love to try making blinds and curtains, which I’ve never done before. I think this could be a really useful skill for the future, and could also save us some money, so definitely worth a go, any tips much appreciated!
  5. Full Bust Adjustment – To be honest it’s amazing I’ve gotten away with not doing one for so long. However I’ve really come to realise that just cutting a bigger size and grading down at the waist and hips doesn’t always cut it in terms of a professional looking fit.

So that seems like plenty for me to be getting on with! I will keep you updated on my progress! Wishing you all a happy and crafty 2016!

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Christmas Gift Quilt

I’m so excited to finally share this mega sewing project with you now it has been gifted to my lovely Mum! Back in the spring I promised my Mum a patchwork quilt for her bed and bought all of the materials. However it took slightly longer than I’d expected and ended up being a Christmas gift!

Mum had said she wanted something bright and colorful, so I bought a lovely selection of green and blue jelly rolls in patterns and solids. These jelly rolls are cut and composed by the lovely Andrea of Quiltmanufaktur in Frankfurt Sachsenhausen – she has a fantastic eye for colour combinations! As Andrea makes her jelly rolls herself, they are half the size of those you buy in the States – from memory I think they have about 20 strips, so I bought 6 I think to make this quilt!

I loosely followed the free Jelly Roll Jam Quilt instructions – for those of you who have never quilted before this is a great place to start and I love the accompanying YouTube video! After I’d made all of my strip sets, I cut everything up in to rectangles and laid them out.

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You’ll see I am not the most accurate cutter! I really need a bigger cutting mat and a sharper rotary cutter! (A bad workman always blames his tools!) Having accurate squares always makes life so much easier when it comes to piecing. What I love about this quilt is the variety of patches, prints and colours. My absolute favourite is this one:

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I love the cute little tigers that pop up every now and then!

When it came to laying out and piecing it together, I didn’t follow the Jelly Roll Jam’s instructions. With this number of prints and colours there were so many sets of blocks that I sort of just did it by eye. I think it turned out pretty well in the end though!

Basting this project was a bit of a beast – I have to confess that the basting and the quilting are the bit I enjoy least, particularly when they are this big! I end up having to take over the lounge and crawl about on all fours which is very undignified! I keep promising I will try that fabric basting spray … Maybe next year? I got the beast basted in the end though and set about quilting!

I am very lucky that my lovely Pfaff has an extra large arm space for quilting. I don’t think I’d dare tackle a project like this without it! It’s also got some fancy quilting stitches which I thought I’d try out – I did wiggly lines and loops in horizontal and vertical lines to create nice square patches on the back. I loved the finished effect, although was slightly regretting it half way through as loops take twice as long as straight lines!

I finished my quilt with some binding made out of leftover jelly roll strips connected together. This is my favourite way of doing quilt binding as the jelly roll strips are the perfect width and also colour co-ordinate with the quilt top! I always use this YouTube tutorial on getting the perfect mitred corner and it works for me every time!

After attaching the biding all that is left is hand sewing the binding down to the back of the quilt. I’m not normally a hand sewer and will use the machine where I can but this is one area where the machine just doesn’t cut it! I’ve learnt to love sitting in front of the Telly completing the final step by hand, with the aid of the most amazing wonder clips of course!

So here she is, the finished quilt!! I am super happy with how it turned out – it was definitely worth the many hours that went in to making it! Every time I finish one I think ‘never again’ and about two weeks later I’m already thinking of the next one … Maybe I will just pick a lap size next time?  

It was great gifting this quilt to my mum on Christmas Day! Such a happy (partially) handmade Christmas!!

Stitchy discoveries

As I have been separated from my beloved sewing machine for the festive period, I’ve been taking some time to catch up with some sewing reading and social media! As a result I’ve found a couple of lovely things that I’d like to share – I’m sure some of you will know them well already as I get the feeling I might have been missing out for a while! 

The first one is the Seamwork online magazine! Funnily enough I got the first issue of Seamwork when it first came out (over a year ago – where does the time go?!) but never really got round to reading it. Since then there have been 13 issues! I ordered the Seamwork annual as a little Christmas treat to myself and I enjoyed reading it so much I thought maybe I would be keen for a subscription after all! I love the mix of crafty cosmetics, garment industry history, patterns and techniques! 

 For those of you who haven’t heard of Seamwork, the subscription is $6 per month – you receive the magazine to your tablet/phone or PC and you also get two credits to download 2 patterns of your choice! I was amazed to discover that I have access to use those credits on any of the patterns from the extensive library and if you don’t use the credits they just roll over to next month! I was also happy to discover that I could download all 13 previous issues so I have been merrily reading those! 

The hardest part is choosing what to spend my credits on – so far I want to make all of the patterns! Seamwork promise that all patterns take 3 hours from cutting to finished garment so they are perfect for weekend projects! My particular favourites are the Brooklyn skirt and the Camden cape, so I know what my first two credits are going on! Expect to see some Seamwork garments on the blog in the new year … 

The other discovery I have made (facilitated by reading Seamwork) is a world of stitchy podcasts! I suspect I’m quite behind the rest of the craft world in discovering these, but they are such fun to listen to! My new favourites are Seamwork radio, Modern Sewciety and Thread Cult. They’ve inspired me to do a bit more research in to finding new favourites for when I’m traveling! When I’ve compiled my ultimate playlist, I’ll be sure to share it with you! 

How about you? Are there any other crafty discoveries I’ve missed? Do you like listening to podcasts and have any recommendations for me? 

I hope everyone is enjoying the festive period! 

My New Toy

Today I thought I would introduce you to someone special – my new toy – Serge! Serge is a Toyota SLR4D Overlocker (serger) and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have been gifted it for my birthday by the lovely PB! Here’s a shot of me when I’d just opened the box – you can see that I was one happy lady!

One happy lady!

I’d been considering purchasing an overlocker for the last few months. With making pretty much all of my clothes now, it seemed like a sound investment, and you can’t argue with the professional finish it gives to seams. However, I didn’t really feel justified in biting the bullet, what with saving up for our new house, so I really did feel extra lucky to receive one as a gift. I’d been looking at a couple of models, however the ones with the best reviews in my price range had really only been the Toyota and the ever popular Brother 1034D. PB had cheekily asked me one night to show him what I was looking at (little did I know he was scoping me out for gifts!) and I happened to see that the Toyota was on flash sale … I still couldn’t justify the price though and spent the next few weeks telling PB what a great purchase it would have been. Little did I know he had sneakily gone and bought it for me!

Serge fresh from the box

Serge and I are still very much getting to know each other. I’d used an overlocker before at my sewing class – and I am so glad I had at least had a few tips to get started. I had heard real horror stories of 3 hours + to learn to thread it so I was quite worried. Although mine had come pre-threaded, something had gotten tangled, so I had to start from scratch. Although not easy, I would say the threading wasn’t too bad. Maybe 45 minutes for the first go? I learnt one key thing: it’s the order you do the threading that counts.

  1. Lower Looper
  2. Upper Looper
  3. Right Needle
  4. Left Needle

Amazingly this makes all the difference! Feeling triumphant that I had threaded the serger, I thought I’d dive in to a project. This was a huge mistake – I think I picked a bit of a tough fabric with a lot of stretch and I just could not get the tension right. After that I packed Serge away again (not in a huff, honest!) until I had some more time to fiddle with the dials … it is all in the thread tension and understanding which thread on your fabric comes from which cone of thread. To help me with this, I found some great online resources which I wanted to share with you:

SewMcCool’s The Anatomy of Perfect Serger Tension has some fantastic colour coded photographs which help you identify which thread is which – I’ve referred back to this one a lot already!

Sew Quick and Easy’s Youtube video on Basic Serging:Tips and Tricks is also great. All I can say is I wish I’d listened to Susan and spent time making a fabric chart of all my thread tensions. It would have saved me lots of trouble!

Serge and I are getting along much better now, although I certainly still don’t feel confident with him. I did some quilting on my beloved Pfaff today and felt so comfortable and at home. I just have to remind myself that once upon a time I used to feel nervous with my sewing machine too! It’s all just a learning curve! This evening I re-threaded Serge in some navy blue thread – I have three Navy projects to work on in the future so it seemed well worth it. Project one involves sweatshirt fabric, project two a low stretch navy woven and project three a crepe georgette. All of them will offer some good opportunities for Serge and I to cement our friendship! I will let you know how it goes!

Serge in Blue

Reversible Baby Skirt

If you’ve been reading my blog for a bit, you will know that I love fat quarters! I love their prints and how cute they are – the colours and the different patterns. I love the cute animals and the comical ones – basically all the ones you buy when you have no idea what exactly you are going to make with them! I’ve been having a bit of a tidy up of my craft stash of late (trying to make space for my new serger on my tiny Ikea table!) and I realised that I really do need to do something about my fat quarter stash!

I saw a little Ra Ra skirt recently to purchase for soon-to-be-here niece and thought they are a great choice for new babies, but you had to be able to sew them yourself in some cute prints. Luckily this amazing free pattern and tutorial for a reversible baby skirt crossed my path and answered my baby ra-ra-skirt and fat quarter stash dreams. I loved how simple it is and the different effects you can get by combining prints and decided I had to give it a go!

While tidying out my stash, I picked out these two cute prints along with some contrast bias binding I had been gifted and had waited to find the right project for. This project seemed just the one!

I purchased the fat quarters during Tschibo craft week and have been super positively surprised by the quality of the cotton. I love the contrasting prints! So perfect for a newborn baby girl gift! Hearts and polka dots, what’s not to love?

This pattern is ridiculously simple – I didn’t even print the free pattern as it was a bit of a spontaneous make this evening, so I just improvised by drawing round a plate to get a good curve on the waist. You pin the two donuts of fabric right sides together and stitch the inner circle and you are already on your way to skirt cuteness!

After that you turn them the right way out and sew around the circle again to create a channel for the elastic. Once the elastic is in, all you have left to do is bind. The binding is a little fiddly and seems to go on forever (but aren’t all circle skirt hems that way?!) However, it was good practice for me on using bias tape, so that was good. I was proud that I just worked out by myself how to attach it.

Overall I am delighted with my finished make. There is nothing on it I would change for once! I can’t believe it only took me an hour from start to finish – such a great project for when you have an itch to stitch but you don’t want to start anything major. Now I am ready to make a whole package of these to gift to friends and relatives. I can picture a matching set of three in a little gift box tied with a cute ribbon. What do you think? What a great way to use a fat quarter!

Oh also, I forgot to mention the best bit, the skirt is reversible! Two skirts for the price of one!

Unfortunately I don’t have a baby to help me model this skirt in all its cuteness, so I called in a friend to help …. meet Dave, our friendly household Minion!

Dave and I wish you a great rest of the week filled with stitching and crafting!

Winter Patterns and Projects

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I’m not quite sure how it happened, but I woke up this morning suddenly aware that winter is coming! This year I am planning on doing a couple of handmade gifts for Christmas, as well as sewing much more of my winter wardrobe, and I’ve realised that I’m going to need to get a wriggle on and do some planning! Looking back at my Autumn Sewing Plans post, I’ve managed to make quite a few of the things I was planning for, as well as a lot of extras I didn’t plan for! My particular favourites have been the Tilly and the Buttons Bettine Dress (of which I have made many) as well as the Tilly and the Buttons Coco. However, I am yet to make Mathilde or the ByHandLondon Charlotte Skirt, both of which are now rolling on over in to my winter sewing agenda!

In addition to those, I have added the following to my sewing agenda for the next few weeks:

wren dress

The Colette Patterns Wren Dress has been taking the sewing community by storm since its release a couple of weeks back. I loved making the Colette Patterns Moneta, so I have high hopes for the Wren Dress. It’s a style which I think will be very flattering on my figure if I can get the fit right, so I am planning to whip one up in one of the jersey fabrics that I bought at Stoffmarktholland. I think maybe a jewel tone purple could be great for a Christmas dress with a nice blingy necklace?!

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The McCall’s 6886 dress is also on my list – it looks like a great staple basic to make for work! I’ve seen a couple of people on Instagram post great photos of these – the shape of the pattern looks really versatile for many different fabric colours. The sleeveless version might also make a great dress for my Cambodian holiday!

In addition to that I’m also planning a second Grainline Studios Morris Blazer in Navy (post coming soon on the first one!)

As if that wasn’t enough, I couldn’t help but be tempted by Sew Magazine’s Chris Moose.

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How cute does he look? I’ve got to find time to squeeze him in!

So that’s going to be me busy stitching for the next few weeks! I’m also going to be learning to use my new overlocker which the PB bought me for my birthday (and the best ever boyfriend award goes to …. *drum roll*), so watch out for more news on that soon as I learn to thread the blighter! Fingers crossed it’s not as scary as people would have you believe! Wish me luck!

Cuddly Cushions

My Sunday sewing challenge this week came courtesy of one of my lovely girl friends, who was looking for me to whizz up some new cushion covers for her pillows. We agreed she’d bring them round and I’d see what I could do while we had a bit of a natter.

My friend added some extra fun to the challenge by choosing some lovely wool stretch knits to cover the cushions in! I’d never done cushions in stretch before, but thought I would give it a go. These are the fabrics that my friend brought round:

The following two are actually the same fabric, just the right side and the wrong side. What I love about this fabric is the little sparkly bits that shine through. Subtle but still a touch of glamour!
  

I actually love these fabrics so much, I kind of wish I had found them for a clothing project. I might head over to Karstadt and get some to make a jacket or a dress, they are just so lovely!

We weren’t really making covers for the pillows as much as covering them permanently, so the technique was nice and easy. Essentially I cut the fabric on the fold, about one centimetre smaller on each side to account for the stretch (there’s nothing worse than a saggy cushion cover!) I then sewed up on both long sides in a normal running stitch. This then left us with a tube which we stuffed the pillow in – it was a bit like pulling on a pair of tights! Then I left my lovely friend to hand sew the final short end opening closed while I got on with the next one. In the end we had a nice little assembly line going!

I’m always a bit nervous to sew up things for other people, especially when they have paid for fabric. I never want the final result to look dodgy and they feel disappointed. In the end though the pillows turned out great – I wish I’d made them for my couch! The best thing about them is that they are nice and soft and cuddly on account of the wool. They’re also nice and plump due to the covers being stretched over the pillows. I love them and I think they look quite chic!

Here’s a before and after:

Before …

… and After …

I hope my friend enjoys cuddling them as much as I did! What a great job she did on choosing the fabric, don’t you agree? How about you? Do you sew things up for friends? Have you ever used jersey knit for pillows? I’d love to hear about it!

Bettine Dress in Bird Print

If you have been following my blog for a while, you will already know that I have a small obsession with Tilly and the Button’s Bettine Dress pattern. Since buying the pattern, I have already made two of these, one in chambray and one in floral jersey. Today I want to share my third with you!

This Bettine  is made of a rather expensive jersey in the most adorable bird print! I cut my usual size – 7 on top and 5 on the bottom and it came together quite nicely. I’m starting to wonder if I could go to 6 on the top and 5 on the bottom though to take some fullness out around the width of my back. As usual I also took out the tulip style skirt – for some reason this just isn’t flattering for my figure and also doesn’t seem to work so well in jersey. I normally sew up as normal and then just take the extra curve out by taking in about 1.5cm at the deepest part of the curve, which has been working for me quite well.


In terms of the construction of this dress, I could have kicked myself a little with the neckband. I’ve ended up with a bit of a pucker on one side. On reflection now I really wish I’d unpicked it and done it again as it bugs me knowing it is there. I don’t think you’d really notice unless I point it out but it annoys me anyway! Funny how you can make a dress three times and still get it wrong on the third go when the other two went just fine!

The other special thing about this dress is that the fabric rolls up on itself all the time! It is so frustrating and no amount of ironing seems to help! As a result the bottom hem seems to be a bit dodgy … Any top tips for that people? To me it just proves my argument that I really do need an overlocker! Apart from that complaint though this fabric is a real treat. It’s so comfortable to wear and I love the fun print.

I thought this might be a good time to introduce you all to Maud – my new dressmaker’s dummy. I was very fortunate to acquire her for a mere 25 euros from a lady who was clearing out her sewing studio. She wasn’t quite as busty as me on top so at the moment she is wearing some rather funky sock padded undergarments. As a result she must remain fully clothed at all times. The undergarments really seem to do the trick though! Maud is mainly here for me to take blog photos, pin hems and display my work, so it’s ok that she’s not quite my size. Right now the PB and I are just getting used to having her around in our lounge! You may be seeing more of her soon!

So here is Maud in my finished Bettine:

Do any of you have a dressmaker’s dummy? How did you get her to suit your shape? Any tips on working with rolly knits? I’d love to hear from you!

Fabric Market Haul

Last Sunday I was thrilled to have my long awaited trip to fabric market! As I missed the last fabric market due to being on holiday, I’d waited a whole six months for this one, and needless to say I was a touch excited! It turned out to be a beautifully sunny and crisp autumn day – perfect for rummaging through stalls and fondling fabric! Filled with excitement, I set off with my IKEA bag and shopping list!

The first couple of stalls are a real treasure trove and mix of fabric! Everything is 5 euros per meter, so it’s certainly worth a rummage! For me the prints were a bit wild for the pieces on my list, and as I’d promised I’d only buy fabric with a project in mind, I stepped away! My first stop was one of the many stalls selling notions – I got 3 meters of interfacing for a bargain 4 euros, as well as a couple of 400m spools of thread in black, white and grey, some new chalk and a bargain button packet of pearly buttons for a euro. I also got a package of ribbed knitting for cuffs and sweatshirt hems which was really great! I was also very proud that I’d kept my promise to myself not to buy any zips or fat quarters in cute prints, despite how attractively priced they are!

I proceeded with my haul in tow to do a good couple of rounds of the stalls. My main stash expansion need was jersey as I am really loving sewing all things jersey right now. I found a great jersey stall where all jersey was 5 euros per meter and came away with these lovely fabrics:


Believe it or not I have plans for all of these already – the grey and black light jerseys are to become either MIY Brightside Shrugs or MIY T-Shirts for Cambodia. The stripy jersey is also for my Cambodia wardrobe and should also become a t-shirt, potentially with funky contrast sleeves. The pink jersey is actually more of a jewel tone purple in real life – it’s destined to become another Moneta. As for the red and white spotty – that was my impulse by – I’m planning on that becoming a Sew Over It Wrap Dress or maybe another jersey Bettine (yes I am considering a 4th Bettine Dress!)

In addition to these beauties, I was also on the look out for sweatshirt fabric to make another Burda sweater for my Dad. I came across an amazing stall that just sold sweatshirt fabric – they had so many designs and colours. I thought it was amazing and such a treat as many of the shops here have a really limited selection. Unfortunately I couldn’t go too wild – at the end of the day I want to make a sweatshirt my Dad will wear, so settled on this sensible navy! I love how fleecy the inside is!

Following all of those purchases I was starting to run out of cash, but I was still missing a couple of key fabrics. I was searching for the perfect stable knit to make a Coco Dress and came across this gorgeous charcoal grey, along with this funky faux leather remnant:

If you’d like to see if these picks were a Coco Match Made in Heaven, check out my Coco Dress post to see the finished result!

My final purchase was a stable stretch knit with a shimmer … I was on the hunt for some jersey to make the Grainline Studios Morris Blazer and to be honest this wasn’t the colour I’d had in mind, but when I saw this fabric it sent my imagination running! I’m not sure it’s going to have enough drape for the blazer so I’m still contemplating whether or not to use it for that, but I shall see how the mood takes me and keep you updated!


So here’s my final haul! I had such an amazing day out – spent lots of money of course, but I can safely say I am now well stocked with fabric until at least Christmas! And all of this fabric was bought at a considerably lower price than it would have been had I bought it in store, which makes me feel a bit better! I can’t wait to get sewing and to show you how my projects turn out!

Baby Gift Parcel

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Back at the beginning of the summer a friend of mine brought these two gorgeous flannel charm packs back from America for me. The blue and yellow pack became a comfy padded baby quilt for my brother and sister-in-law. When I later found out that their baby was going to be a girl, I couldn’t help but decide I had to make something with the pink one for them too!

As the flannel charm packs are super soft, I thought I’d make a patchwork cosy comforter for the baby. The front is a normal square patchwork and the back is some lovely white fleece. Due to the pre-cut charms, the top came together really quickly and easily. I then basted it together with the fleece and “quilted” diagonal half square triangles through both layers to give a nice pattern on the back of the white fleece. I then bound the blanket with some “bias binding strips” of fleece. On reflection, this was a really bad idea, as the fleece did not make nice mitred corners at all due to being much too thick, but hey, you live and learn! I hand sewed the binding down to the back of the quilt and I was so pleased, my hand sewing is coming on a treat! Here’s the finished blanket! Apologies about the photos – it’s so tough to get good photos with less and less daylight every day!

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I also decided that it wouldn’t be fair if all of my friends’ babies received an Ernest the Elephant and my own niece didn’t, so I set about making one of those too. I used some chambray scraps from my Bettine Dress for the body of the elephant. I can’t believe that the 2m of chambray I bought have now made a dress, espadrilles and an elephant and I still have some left! I love making things with scraps as I really hate waste! I also had a fat quarter of faux-suede in brown in my stash that I got free with a sewing magazine, and thought that a couple of pieces of that would make lovely snuggle soft ears. I love the Birch Fabrics free template for this pattern – it’s such a nice shape and the little knotted tail is such a cute detail! So here he is – my finished elephant! The jury is out as to whether he should be known as Edna or Egbert – I guess in the end we will let our niece decide when she’s here!

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Edna-Egbert was the first project where I got to use one of my new Make Amy Make labels! I loved being able to add a little label – it makes it feel more finished somehow!

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Both gifts went off in the post to England and are now in the nursery waiting for our arrival. Not long to go! How about you – do you like making gifts for friends and relatives? Have you made anything out of scraps recently that you’re proud of?