Posted in Sewing

Teacher’s Presents – Book Covers

Right that’s just about it another school year over and done with, and it’s been a busy one especially as it was Sweetie’s first year. This had one final unexpected treat in store for me: twice as many teacher presents at the end of the year. Nine of them to be precise!

Fabric Book Covers

After rummaging through my idea books I decided to make some book covers for some A5 notebooks. The project asked for two fat quarters per cover, but with nine books to make I shuddered at the thought of buying 18 fat quarters. If you’ve ever bought them you’ll know they aren’t half as cheap as they should be. I decided that 9 cotton fat quarters and a length of poly cotton for the lining, to keep the cost down a little but still provide a nice finish.

After making them up I found that for the books I bought I needed just a little over half a fat quarter for each piece (outer and inner). I’m glad I bought just a length of fabric for the inner covers as I needed much less than 9 fat quarters  (2.5m).

I tried to pick fabrics to for each teacher, as much as I could – this probably took longer than most of the sewing!

So here we have 4 Book Covers for Sweetie’s teachers:

4 Book Covers

and 5 for Pretzel Boy’s Teachers:

5 Book Covers

I also decided to add some letter to the inside of each cover, a ‘Thank You’ with our child’s name and the year in the back cover:

Open Book Cover - Back

and the Teacher’s name in the front cover:

Open Book Cover - Front

The letter is quite simple but I hope it adds a little something – plus they won’t get mixed up so easily.

I have also persuaded Pretzel Boy to add a few words for each teacher that I’ve printed and stuck inside too.

Book Cover Poem

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Posted in Sewing

Alice and The Bird Dresses

And now we have arrived at the first dress I made for Sweetie. I wanted something quite simple, so this meant no sleeves. So I picked a simple strappy dress, zip and straps that tie at the back. Not wanting to pass up an opportunity the fabric was picked to match an Alice style dress of an Alice in Wonderland Day at 2015’s 3 Wishes Faery Fest.

Being my first dress I chose to use some affordable polycotton, which isn’t the greatest but still looks quite nice. I also chose to have a play with making the colour fade through different shades, by bleaching the top of the dress and not the bottom. As it turned out it makes the dress look permanently wet, it definitely makes people take a second look.

Alice Dress

And as you can see it floats out in a lovely way too! I used a lace panel for the bottom to make it just that little extra pretty.

Alice Dress sitting

I have also made one of these dresses for my niece, in a smaller size, in some lovely Cotton – that I took so long picking. Here they are together:

Alice dress and bird dress

I love how different thy look until you really start analysing them and see that they really are the same. Here are a few extra pictures that really show it off:

bird dress bird dress

I bought quite a bit of these two fabrics and have made one other thing that I’ll post soon, but expect to see more using these in the future.

Posted in Sewing

First Trousers & Bleach Dying

When I decided I was going to start sewing seriously the first aim I set myself was to make some nice comfy casual trousers for myself. I had bought three such pairs in recent years and over time they were giving up. So once I had a few small projects under my belt I made my first attempt on some cheap cotton we had laying about from The Bendy Knitter‘s more artsie days. Well you’re not seeing those they were awful but I learnt a lot.

I decided I should head out and find something cheap to make my second attempt out of, I found this denim print polycotton. It’s very light weight as you make expect for a cheap polycotton.

Denim Polycotton

I finished them and fitted, I was very happy with that. But they looked awful, like drab blue scrubs, not what I expected at all, the denim detail was far too small to see without getting REALLY close up. So there aren’t any pictures at this stage.

I stewed on it for a bit and as 2015’s 3 Wishes Faery Fest  approached my thoughts were turning to costumes. One of which was a nautical type theme, I started thinking along the lines of well I have blue trousers, lets get more blue things and be a water fae. But these trousers won’t do, what can I do with them. Bleach Dye them of course.

So after buying elastic bands, rubber gloves and some cheap thin bleach I was ready. Giving the trousers a good soaking first and with the help of several elastic bands the trousers were twisted and balled up nice and tight. It’s really important to get them nice and tightly wound otherwise you’ll end up with too much colour gone. Now I filled the sink with bleach and water. I don’t remember the exact quantity, but almost anything looks like it will work, lots of things I’ve read suggest anything from equal quantities to 4 parts bleach to 1 part water, however that seems excessive to me, I’m more likely to have held back and used 1 part bleach and 2 parts water. The trousers were then left in for 5 – 10 minutes, the time really depends on the colour of the garment and the dyes used, which of course you’ll never know before hand. Also I should note here that 100% cotton is best used for this , using polycotton was a risk but one I was willing to take, it could have fallen apart. When the time is up give them a really good rinse and a turn in the washing machine on their own, maybe even two, until the smell of bleach has gone. and viola…

frozen trousers

Now is the time to talk colours, you may or may not know that, dark fabrics are made by dying with various other colours. When you bleach dye you wash out some of those so your end item will be made of the colours that were used but separated, in a tie-dye style. It’s quite exciting waiting to see what you’re going to get.

As you can see I think I pretty much hit the water fae colours maybe a little lighter than I had planned, a minute less in the bleach might have been a good idea. It’s been commented they look a bit more frozen than water, with The Bendy Knitter calling them my Elsa trousers more than once! Personally I’ve never seen Elsa wearing trousers! (That’s Elsa from Disney’s Frozen, if you didn’t know!)