Sunday 27 January 2013

Waste not want not - Pirate Costume and a super-quick Pirate Eye-Patch Tutorial

We went to a little friend's 4th birthday party a couple of weekends ago, and it was ... yep you guessed it ... pirate themed. Ahoy There, Shiver Me Timbers ... and all that! 

Now being in a house full of girls (except Daddy of course) we don't have much in the way of pirate dress-ups.  A shame really!  We have also just been flat out busy, so I hadn't even got around to thinking about what Bethany would wear to this party until about the Friday afternoon before the party.  With absolutely no time and no chance to go to the shops before the party, I tried ... VERY hard ... to convince Bethany that she should really just put on every necklace and piece of play jewellery she owns ...which is A LOT ...and go to the party as the Pirate's treasure ... good idea, huh!?!  Well I though it was a great idea, but Bethany...not so much!  She decided that she definitely NEEDED to go as a Pirate.

Well, torn between being very time-poor, but never being shy to tackle a challenge like that one, I decided I'd just simply applique a skull and crossbones onto a plain T-shirt, and off we would go.  So Saturday morning came along, and about mid-morning when I finally had a chance to do this T-shirt, I discovered that Bethany has absolutely no plain T-shirts that I could potentially use for this project ... what!!  Mental note - next time I'm in K-Mart I'm picking up a stack of cheapo $3 T-shirts to keep in my sewing stash for occasions just like this!

I hunted through my fabric stash ... nothing suitable for running up a quick T-shirt.  Hmmm, no time to get to the shops as it was only 3 hours til party time, and I only had about half an hour left of Hannah sleep time to get this sorted.

Eventually, and with utter desperation, I had the idea to rumage through my own wardrobe to find an old t-shirt or something that I could cut up and use as fabric to make this T-shirt.  Found an old pale-yellow singlet, still in pretty good nic.  The coolest part of this was that when I got out my size 4 t-shirt pattern (traced from a T-shirt of Bethany's) I realised that I could make this work still using the original neckline and arm-hole edging.  Woo Hoo for that.  So with a bit of trimming, tucking, trying on, and a bit more trimming and stitching, Bethany finally had a plain top suitable for Piratising ... just made that word up ... do you like it?
I got this skull and crossbones shirt design from one of my favourite crafting books, The Crafty Kid by Kelly Doust.  The good thing about making the shirt as well was that I could do the applique before I sewed the top together, which is soooooo much easier than trying to keep the back of the shirt out of the way while sewing onto the front.

Then I got a little excited and decided to make an eye patch.  Simplest thing ever ... here's how I did it:

- I just free-handed 2 semi-circle pieces of left-over black drill, then ironed the edges under 1/4 inch all the way around.
- Pinned them wrong sides together with all the edges tucked in, then topstitched about 2mm right around the edge, making sure to catch in a piece of 1/4 inch black elastic (which i first measured around Bethany's head) at the top corners on each side.

And, done!! Super easy eye-patch.
Bethany actually hated wearing this on her eye, but it was quite easy to just flip up, and was almost like an elastic headband keeping her hair off her face while looking fantastically piratey (another made up work ... I'm on a literary roll today!)
Coupled with a scrap of red polka-dot fabric as a bandana and rolled up jeggings (which I actually pulled out of the 'too small' bag...didn't matter 'cause they were to be rolled up anyway, and Bethany only ever grows out of things in the length ... skinny little thing she is!), I reckon she made a pretty good little pirate!  And the total sum of this whole project ... $0.  I already had everything on hand either left over from other projects, from the 'too small' bag or from my own wardrobe.  Yay for that!

Sunday 20 January 2013

What's Mummy's Mummy Up To? - The 4 Fat Quarter Christmas Challenge

This is the first guest post on my blog by my Mum (aka Mummy's Mummy).  My mum is always creative and is an amazing seamstress, knitter, and is awesome at pretty much any other craft you can think of.  Any creativity that I possess definitely comes from her!  Sorry Dad!  So, a huge thanks to my Mum for trying her hand at blogging ... thinking of making a regular What's Mummy's Mummy up to series ... what do you think? Anyway, here's what Mummy's Mummy has been up to lately:

On the leadup to Christmas, I was doing lots of cooking to use as gifts for family and friends and making dolly beds and bedding for the dolls of our 2 younger granddaughters.   

When Wen asked what I would like as a gift this year I said ‘craft things, fabric or similar’.  Wen’s response was "If I give you fabric, will you make something with it and write about it for my blog?"

Now blogging is not my usual style.  I’m the one who hoards everything crafty, then spends a day sewing up whatever takes my fancy, changing methods, ideas and styles of what I had planned as I go.  But I agreed to give it a go, and I had lots of fun!

Wen gave me a four fat quarter bundle from Home Grown Pillows and Designer FabricsThe colours work well together and I especially like the fabric with the birds on it.  Because fat quarters are not very big, and I was finding this limiting for the ideas I had in mind, I purchased 1 metre of plain purple homespun to use as well. 
Now, if your challenge was to use these fabrics to make something, what would you do?  I decided that I had to use as much of each of the fabrics as possible to really get the most out of them.  Here's what I came up with:
Project 1:  Tote Bag.  The original idea for this bag came from a project sheet produced for Spotlight in 2010.  I have used it several times and find it a good size to carry knitting projects or to use for shopping while on holidays, but I do change it up a little each time to better suit my needs or taste.  
I used a different fabric for each side (as there's not enough in 1 piece for both sides) and added a side panel around the bag rather than squaring the bottom corners.  I also made the straps longer so they can be worn over my shoulder and added a zipper to the top so things don’t fall out.  Then, because I was in a very creative mood, I decided to add some quilting along the branches and around the birds.  I was really happy with the result.
Project 2:  Satchel Bag. Pattern from  As I still had a piece of the bird fabric, I decided to use it for the front pocket and back panels and homespun for the rest.  I put a zipper in the top too, rather than the magnetic clip suggested.  I will find this useful when I take a cruise in the near future, just as a carry-around on board for things like my room key and any other odds and ends.
Project 3: Babushka Doll.  I have had the pattern kit (from for this doll for many years and felt that this is the right time and the right fabric to finally make her.  I have added a rattle while stuffing her for added appeal to my young granddaughters.  I would have liked her to have a headscarf, but sadly my fabrics have all run out.  Oh well, next time!
Well, this Nanna has had a busy and most enjoyable weekend of crafts and now needs a rest.  Thanks for reading my first ever post.  What have you been up to lately?