Going to the chapel, and we’re….

Going to the chapel, and we’re….

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… gonna throw flowers! Which is customary in Germany for a wedding. The wedding was that of my husband’s cousin and our children had the pleasure of being in charge of the throwing together with their second cousin. (That chart is very helpful, indeed!)

I had planned to make a dress for my daughter. When I heard about the flower girl part, I jumped at the opportunity to make coordinated dresses for both girls and a shirt and tie for my son. I adapted Ottobre-patterns for the dresses. One of the girls is about to be 3 years old and her dress looks like this:

Flower girl dress

It has a twirly skirt and two underskirts, one from cotton and one from tulle. And it looks much better in person! ūüėČ

The other little girl is a little over two and wore this dress:

Flower girl dress 2

It’s made from the same fabric as the other one, but the skirt is different – straight and gathered at the waist. And it had to have a petticoat. I figured that a petticoat on a two-year old was not going to stay where it was supposed to be, so I sewed the musselin and tulle layers to an elastic wide waistband and that onto a onesie. It looks a bit like a tutu:

underdress

And it makes the dress all nice and puffy – better to be seen from below:

Dress and underskirt

And last but not least, I also made a shirt and tie for my son. What’s noticeable is that he let me make his tie from leftover fabric from the dresses (he usually doesn’t really like pinkish colours) and has even worn it again since the wedding.

Shirt

You know what I’d love to have? A dressform for kids – it would have to be adjustable, though…

Anyway, enough for tonight – do you like coordinating clothes on children?

Katrin

A second and yet a first…

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… as in birthday present and ikea-hack! Come to think of it, there has been a lamp shade a while back, but let’s not count beans, agreed?

Anyway, for my little girl’s (she’s not all that little anymore – include mother’s sigh here, please) second birthday I took this:

Ikea Poang Kindersessel

and turned it into this:

Poang enhanced 1

The entire project was pretty straight forward: I took the chairs slipcover (the part you can easily take off and wash) apart and used part of it to make my new version. I skipped the little head cushion – I think it gets in the way of the chair’s otherwise clear lines – and since my daughter isn’t that tall, her head wouldn’t reach up to it anyway.

I originally intended to leave the chairs supporting fabric as it was, but then didn’t like the plain beige polyethylene. So I used that as a template and made a similar version from the cotton fabric I’d also picked up at Ikea. This will probably be a lot less durable but I figured I can just exchange it when it gets worn. I wouldn’t do this with an adult’s chair, though, for safety reasons. I love the chairs backside the way it looks now:

Poang enhanced 2

What do you think?

Have a great summer!

Katrin

Mix together a pillow…

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… and an approved technique, and this is what you get:

Pillow

It’s a pillow for a little girl with her name applied. I have applied names before to little shopping bags – never to pillow cases, though. And I decided to take the chance and try something new: Instead of forming the name letter by letter, I made a template using a handwriting font (called GinoSchoolSkript). I typed the name in a very large scale, then exported it to .pdf, imported that to GIMP and selected the entire text by colour. GIMP has a tool to enlarge the selection, which I did (here’s to my husband who has all these amazing computer skills). That done, all I had to do was print out my mirrored template, trace it onto the paper backing of a Heat ’n Bond sheet and fuse that to the back of the polka dot fabric I wanted to use for the applique. I cut out the letters, removed the paper backing and fused the first letter and the rest of the name to the front of the pillow case and zig-zagged around it.

I got the idea for the little ladybug from here and made it from plain brown and red polka dot fabric.

What I am particularily proud of, though, is the back side:

Pillow back

The pillow case has a covered zipper. To be able to add the orange edging, I sewed it between the my backside and a small strip of fabric and then folded that over. Sewing a covered zipper is dead easy, actually, and it makes for such a clean look – love it! You should be able to get zippers for pillow cases and such by the yard in most fabric stores.

Sewing the pillow together wasn’t much of a challenge, I added the edging on the sides just like I did on the zipper.

I like the way the lettering came out; I think it’s perfect for a little girl – playful, yet a little elegant.

Have a great weekend!

Katrin

PS: Sorry for not posting my daughter’s birthday present – didn’t get around to take pictures yet.

This is the 4th…

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Blanket with elephants

… baby blanket featured on the blog. I’m afraid that for you – my faithful readers – this might indeed become somewhat boring – all these blankets are somehow alike and only vary slightly in size and pattern. As the ones before it, the top is assembled from squares cut from different fabrics. This time, though, three of the patterns came on just one piece of fabric. The fabric for the squares as well as the beautiful elephant fabric are from Frau Tulpe in Berlin. The baby’s mother actually helped picking them out this time.

Blanket part

For the backside I found some lovely blue-greenish fabric. At first I was afraid it might be too heavily patterned to be used on the top as well. I was planning on using some contrasting fabric or maybe something in the beautiful turquoise colour (featured in the striped squares), but, unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything to match that. And since I had bought way too much fabric for the backside, I decided to give it a try and used it to separate the „elephant parade“ from the squares, for the little corner squares and for the binding. Even though I still think that turquoise would have been nice, I like that the blanket looks cheerful and bright now – just like it should for a little child.

Hope you enjoyed this, I have a post about my daughter’s birthday present coming up – maybe by the beginning of next week…

Katrin

PS: I almost forgot – for quilting, I combined for squares to one (mentally) and went along the seems. I really don’t put enough effort into the quilting itself … lazy me!

Cover up!

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I’ve already been asked to post that baby gear I’ve been talking about last time.. well here it is:

I’ve never been too fond of standard changing mats – although there actually are some beautiful ones (that just don’t fit in the „standard“ – category). So the thought of making didn’t seem entirely off and now came the best occasion ever as my sister’s expecting. They have a very small nursery and are making multi-function use of an antique dresser – it’s going to serve as storage and changing table at the same time. That dresser used to be part of our great-grandparent’s bedroom furniture which is now scattered amongst the family. The armoire hold’s my children’s clothing as well as some of mine (that thing is huge!), and the bed frames now sit unused in my parent’s attic. Anyway, back to the dresser: It features a grand oval mirror and a marble top and called for something special as a changing mat, aside from the fact that a standard-sized mat just wouldn’t fit. Therefore I went ahead and bought some rubber foam about 2 inches thick, molleton fabric to cover it and oilcloth for the outside.

Here’s what it looks like:

Changing mat

Turtle made it into this post, too!

I cut the foam to a square sized 24 x 31“, and covered that in molleton. I followed the method I used for making bags before – leaving one side open. Then I slipped the foam square in and closed the open side by hand (rather untidily, but it’ll be covered and unseen 99.9% of the time. Then I made the top of the cover from the beautiful, sort of vintage-looking olive oilcloth and spend quite some time figuring out how to make the corners. I then adapted a method I’ve previously used for tablecloth, but I didn’t think of taking pictures while I did that and I’m not quite sure I’d be able to legitimately explain what I did. Anyway I did this twice – boxing the corners and leaving .75 inches of the cover fabric for sewing on the backing. For that I used two peaces of black fabric I already had around, I left them overlapping a bit and added some velcro tape to hold them together. That way the cover can be removed in case it should ever get too filthy for a simple wipe-down. Eventually I put drops of ABS latex milk on the back to keep the mat from sliding of the marble dresser-top.

Another picture of the ensemble – don’t you just love the elephants my sister painted on the wall?

Wall with elephants

Another thing I’ve been planning to re-cover for a long time, and now finally did is my old nursing pillow. It went from yellow with flowers and lions to a more livingroom-friendly cream with tiny blue dots and brown piping. Let’s face it – nursing pillows do tend to end up on sofas or chairs, so why shouldn’t they have a sophisticated look to themselves, too?

Nursing pillow

I used the old cover as my pattern and hid a zipper under the piping (of which I am rather proud).

Nursing pillow close

I’m curious – have you re-covered anything lately?

It’s been two years today,

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that I published my first entry on this blog. It was meant to document my ventures into the world of sewing. Looking back on my (few and far between) posts, projects have changed from childrens‘ clothing to crafts that just happened to be sewn. There have been blankets, pillows, bags, costumes for mardi gras, and even a doll. All these things, I made for people very dear and special to me.

Thad said, today might be a day as good as any to publish a project NOT made from fabric but from yarn:

Turtle

Ms. turtle has won me over completely and now officially holds the place of my favourite project on the blog.

I made the turtle following these instructions. I am so happy about how it turned out – I added two or three extra rounds to the body, though, because I feared it would be too small for the shell. The shell can be taken off, I only added one button to the little vest, though – it’s well enough to hold things together.

Turtle belly

However, there is one major adjustment, because I added this:

This makes the turtle a musicbox. I covered the pullout in single crochets and it’s now the turtle’s little tail. The music box itself is hidden inside the body and when you pull out the little tail it plays this:

Canon in D by Pachelbel

To view the turtle in full action, yet another picture with pulled-out tail:

Turtle back

The shell is made from seven tiles – one center and 6 sides, I sewed them together with a darning needle and matching thread.

This hasn’t been the first time I crocheted something – I’ve made at least two hats previously – but it’s certainly the most complex project I’ve taken on crochet-wise. I’ve found crocheting to be easy, fast and a lot of fun and I love what can be made – all those stuffed animals! Makes me almost sad that my kids have so many stuffed animals already – my son loved the turtle, though and wants one for himself.

Until I make that, though, I’m busy with some baby gear and mardi gras is just around the corner – so stay tuned!

Thank you so much for dropping in here over the last two years, I’m happy to be able to share my crafts with you!

Katrin

My New Year’s Resolution…

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… is to get more organized and declutter our place a bit. My sewing accessories have been laying about in at least three different rooms – some of them even down in the basement! – and this is a serious stumbling block when I plan to get started with some new project. Great about that resolution, however, is that last year’s christmas project made me start early:

dinkelkissen1.jpg

I’ve decided to use up some of my fabric leftovers in small (patched) spelt cushions. Thus, to begin with, I had to browse through everything I had on hand and I took the chance to iron and fold my belongings. They even ended in my new designated spot for fabric leftovers – how crazy is that?

Back to the christmas project, though: In Germany heat cushions are a popular gift for little children. They’re usually filled with cherry pits and can be heated in a microwave, an oven or on a radiator. I had read about spelt being a possible substitute for cherry pits and I liked the idea of a grain¬†filling. I decided to order 5 kg of organic spelt. (talking about leftovers… does anyone need spelt? or another spelt cushion, for that matter?)

spelt

I decided to go for a two-part cushion – an inlet for the spelt and a washable cover.

Having sorted out the fabric, I simply cut stripes of different widths and added them together to form rectangles of about 6 by 8 inches. I added some thin cotton backing and plain white cotton, „quilted“ that using some of my machine’s fancy stitches along the seems and added a non-patched back. I intended to leave it at a flap closure but had to add one button for stability. I made the button face down to prevent it from disturbing by sticking out.

For the inlets I cut up an old, yet unused, cotton sheet my mother happened to have lying around. I closed three seems of the inlet first, then added one third of the spelt and made a seem to keep it in the first third of the inlet, repeated that and closed the inlet after the last portion of spelt. The inlets are not washable, since the spelt would soak up the water and start to mold.

inlet

It didn’t take much more than two days (and half a night) to make them and here they are in all their glory:

dinkelkissen2

Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of the backsides… but I guess you get the picture nonetheless!

A happy New Year to all readers!

Katrin

This might be the last…

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… project for this year. Almost certainly the last one I’ll actually get around to posting here as some highly important exams are approaching way too fast. Anyway, on a happier note:

Children grow unbelievably fast. Thus a little boy I made a christening present for more than 2.5 years ago is now a big brother to another little boy christened just recently. Needless to say – ideas for sewing projects sparked in my head as soon as the invitation reached us. However, as I may have mentioned in a post about my own little girl, second children tend to have just about everything they need and more, passed on to them by older siblings mostly. Therefore, I ruled out clothes and decided to make a blanket that could serve him as a throw on his bed, a light cover during warm summer nights, a place to have a picnic on and, incidentally, a large checkerboard (it features 8 by 8 squares of two colours):

Baby boy's blanket

It measures about 3’7“ squared. When I chose the fabric I tried to find „boyish“ colours and patterns that had a bit of an adult flair to them – I didn’t want him to hate his „baby blanket“ once he grew a little. Every boy needs a little fun, though, and I’ve realized √ā¬†that it doesn’t matter if he’s 1, 5, or 50 years old. Naturally, I fell in love with this fabric and had to have it for a frame:

frame

Don’t you just love that there are buses, ambulances, police and tow-cars and even a fire truck? I used a bit of the backing for the corners and set it of with some dark blue stripes. Accidentally, I discovered a way of finishing a quilt’s edges I haven’t read about previously. I planned on doing double fold binding, but cut the stripes too narrow – which, of course, I only realised AFTER I had sewn the first one on. Since I didn’t have any time left, I just ironed the entire binding to the back and sewed it on there. This actually makes for a cleaner edge on the front, I think.

For quilting, I only sewed a third of an inch into half of the squares and I hope this is sufficient to hold the cotton batting in place. The blanket is 100% cotton, top, batting and back.

I hope you like it, pictures are courtesy of the little boy’s mother – thank you so much!

Katrin

PS: My dear American readers – and friends – please feel free to correct any mistakes you find. I have the impression, lately, that I’m losing some of my English – I might just have to drop in on you! (And how I wish I could… maybe a call will have to do.)

A birthday party and …

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… a commission!

My son turned 4 (quite amazing, isn’t it). For a birthday party we decided to take him and his friends on a treasure hunt starting of with a picknick at the (admittedly very small) botanical garden. To pick up the treasures that were to be found, each little boy of course needed a bag. So I made some and then decided to also use them to decorate the table alongside the caution tape my son had asked for (it’s red and white over here).

So when the treasure hunters arrived, that’s what they were looking at:

party table

Treasure bags

Also, I recently got the chance to make something on commission, as a little boy (or rather not that little anymore) needed a bag with his name on it. So I was asked for another version of these bags, that I’d made a while back:

Beutel

I also included a baby chicken as that’s on his closet at daycare. I simply cut out two roughly chicken-like shapes from yellow fabric. Then I stiched the wing shape on one of them, sewed them together leaving a little hole for turning. I flipped it inside out and filled it with some of the wool left from my daughter’s doll. Then all that was left for me to do was to close the whole and add eyes and a little comb and tail by hand.

Here’s what the little chicken looks like:

Beutel_Kueken

By the way, fall arrived rather quickly over here – might be time to make some hats!

Katrin

What a couch really needs …

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… is a lovely pillow!

Here are some that I’ve made:

log-cabin pillow 1

log-cabin pillow 2

These were for my sister. And I also made one for my son to go with his sister’s blanket and to add to the blue and green accents in the nursery:

log-cabin pillow 3

As you can tell, these are all made adapting the log-cabin quilt pattern. I like the fact that you don’t really have to have a pattern designed when you get started but can make it up as you go along. I start by making the „face“ side, almost like a little quilt complete with batting and lining and then treat that as it were a regular peace of fabric and ad the back side of the pillow case. Quilting the front makes for some nice accents: either just because the seems are there or because of some contrasting thread.

Hope you have a beautiful pillow around to make your couch even more comfortable!

Katrin