Thursday, 30 December 2010

Best (sewing) of 2010

I do love a good list, and New Year's Eve seems like the perfect excuse for a round-up of the year's creations.

In springtime I was nesting, waiting for baby to arrive. I discovered on-line patterns, and made endless tiny dresses and bloomers while my bump was growing bigger and bigger. Perhaps I should have paid more heed to the size of the bump, as some of the dresses were already small when runciblegirl was born. (No matter, I have a plan...)

In the summer, with babe in arms (literally), I flirted with bags, bunting and baby bootees - quick and simple projects which could be squeezed in between feeds.
The Taxi Tote: an Anne Marie Horner pattern made in a variety of Cath Kidston prints

 In the autumn I was searching for the Sugar City Village Frock, and was so delighted to find it that I had to start writing runcibledays in order to share the excitement! Autumn was also make-do-and-mend season, possibly because I had just discovered Oliver+S, whose reassuringly expensive patterns had to lead to cuts elsewhere in the sewing budget...

The Sugar City Village Smock in a Liberty print corduroy

Winter has been an oliver+s bonanza - working on the principle that those lovely patterns really can become economically viable on a cost-per-use basis - alternating with the ongoing search for the perfect bib.

Could this be it?

(Have there been any disasters? well yes, a few... let's agree never to speak again of the scratchy linen pyjama trousers, or the self-drafted jersey skirt with the disastrously wonky hemline).

Can I choose a single favourite item from 2010? Maybe not just one, but I can pick my top three.

In third place, representing all those little dresses (and with a nod to the o+s obsession) is the bubble dress, made for Christmas in beautifully soft patterned corduroy. And there's a matching bib - hooray!

Oliver+s bubble dress in a Valori Wells corduroy

In second place, a lovely upcycle. I wondered about the camper van set here, but settled on the vroom shorts - so simple to make, and so loved by their owner.

Vroom! - the upcycled cycle shorts

And in first place, my surprise favourite of the year: son#1's cub blanket - almost not a sewing project at all, it's a square of fleece with a hem around the edge and some cub badges sewn on. When I sat down to make it, I thought it would have an outing once a year at a cub sleepover and then languish in the bottom of a drawer. I was so wrong! He uses it every night, and it's a joy to see him snuggled up with blanket and book at bedtime. Once again: so simple, so loved...

Should there be a moral in there somewhere?

Happy New Year!

Monday, 20 December 2010

Germ warfare - reversible aprons to keep the bugs at bay

This fabric caught my eye in the shop and seemed to be saying 'make me into something for the boys...'. It's so rare to find fabulous prints for boys that I was at the checkout before I'd actually thought about what that 'something' should be. Luckily, the lady at the counter had a suggestion: she had used this fabric to make an apron for her brother-in-law. Once that idea had been planted, it was clearly the only thing to do with these multicoloured bugs...

They were very simple to construct: both are reversible with red on one side and blue on the other, so all the seams are enclosed and there was no fiddly finishing. The waist and neck bands fasten with press-on snaps, mostly because I'm trying to foster independence in my boys, and snaps are easier than ties for small fingers. The photo below shows a glimpse of the reverse on each apron.

I used the alternate colours for the waist and neck bands - but the boys weren't very so keen - they felt each side should have just one colour.
At least I'll know for next time!

ps: there aren't any photos of the work in progress - I was too focussed on the end product. But I'm thinking of making another in the new year so could put some photos and instructions together then if anyone would like tutorial - leave a comment to let me know if you would be interested!

Update Feb 11: tutorial (for something very similar) now in place