Lolly-Fly

Hello I’m a Lolly-Fly

Lolly-Fly 1

This is the first detailed softie that I’ve ever designed. Previously I’ve done basic shapes like Spot but I’ve never made something so detailed without following a pattern as a guideline. On some scrap paper I sketched out a butterfly wing. When I made Spot I think it took a few sketches before I was happy however this time the first wing I did was perfect. I went over the pencil sketch with black marker to see it better and then flipped over the paper and traced over the black outline again so the wing would be in reverse. For the main body I sketched out a head shape and originally just had a rectangle for the rest of the body.

When gathering the fabric from my stash I found a really nice large piece of fabric that had a goldish strip in it. I thought it would be perfect for the body as it was very detailed. I was able to slice off one of the gold strips and by chance in the process also got a pink strip which I used for the head. I found the blue and purple fabric which I’d previously dyed matched in the colours on the gold detail so used those as the applique pieces. I wanted the background of the wings to be contrasting with the rest of the fabrics so I went with just a plain pink. I found a 1.5″ strip of blue fabric already cut so used that for the antennas.

When constructing this I decided to curve the body a bit to make it cuter. The wings are one piece of fabric, I drew each one and left an inch gap between them so that I could attach them to the body. When I stitched them together I left 2 gaps for filling. I finished the main body first before hand sewing the empty wings onto the body. I had a slight mishap I didn’t check the wings before I started my 3 rows of hand sewing and stitched them the wrong direction, cause they were upside down I didn’t notice. I was sew devastated. I ended up having to unpick them which luckily didn’t ruin the body piece too much and re-stitch them. To cover up the messy stitching of the wings I used more of the antenna tube and appliqued it on. I think it also gives colour to the back without having to add anything else.

Lolly-Fly 2

I really like this. It’s just like how I saw it in my mind. I wanted to design a toy for my niece that was for her cause I told her at Christmas I’m yet to find a toy with her name (or nickname) in it. I’ve been told she likes butterflies so I hope she likes her Lolly-fly

Owl Doorstop

This little Owl is so cute.

Owl Door Stop

I found this pattern in Home Sewn Gifts magazine (Vol 1) The original design had this as a pyjama case but I just used the basic shape as the design. This was the first time I’ve ever used the technique of appliqueing with a double thickness of fabric. You place the 2 pieces of fabric right sides together and draw around the shape. You then stitch around the entire shape when finished you clip a small incision on one of the fabrics and turn the fabrics right way out through the incision. You then stitch the applique piece into place with the incision hidden at the back. Although the frugal crafter in me struggles with notion of wasting good fabric this technique is very effective and useful. Stitching it into place was so easy as you didn’t have to worry about raw edges. It also gives it a bit more of a 3D feel.

As this is a doorstop and needed to have weight to it I decided not to use anything that might encourage vermin so instead filled it with fish tank gravel. At my local shops I found several types of gravel so chose the gravel that was completely dry (some types looked like they had moisture in the packet) This little guys has 1.5kg of gravel in him. Again the felt came from the stash my friend had given me and the buttons on the eyes this time were from my mum’s old pj’s. They fit perfectly on this project.

Pussy Cat

This little creature is designed by Dawn Lewis and was published in Patchwork & Stitching magazine (Vol15 No. 2)

Cat Front

I decided to enlarge the pattern slightly bigger than the copy in the magazine. The felt used on the face was sent to me by a friend a few years ago after she made some Christmas decorations and the buttons used as eyes were part of a jar of buttons I received in a swap once. I like how all these different elements came together to make the gift.

Cat Back

Originally I was going to turn this into a door stop but decided it was a bit too small so its just a softie. The pattern is very simple and you could easily make a whole batch of these in any size or sizes you want. The designer is happy for people to make them as fundraising items for fetes and charity events if you credit her as the designer.

Eloise

Introducing Eloise

Eloise

This another Ric Rac pattern called Jude & Eloise I know a young lady called Eloise and as soon as I saw this pattern I had to buy it so I could make it for her. This softie is weighted at the base to allow it to stand on its own. The pattern called for sewing pellets which I didn’t have so I improvised and used rice instead to weight it. You were also supposed to make more of a little collar which I didn’t instead I used a piece of ric rac. My only little twisted sense of humour a Ric-Rac pattern should have a ric rac collar.

I like to give kids toys that have their name in the pattern even if they don’t know or understand it. I know the significance so that’s all that matters to me.

Craft Resolutions To Live By

Flicking through an old copy of Stitch magazine (Spring 2011) I came across a piece on the Top 10 Sewing Resolutions. Ok so I know New Year has passed but I think its something we should all try and do no matter when.

The Top 10 were

  1. Frequently clean my sewing machine
  2. Close the guard on the rotary cutter no matter how soon I’ll be using it again
  3. Save scraps in an organised manner
  4. Teach someone to sew
  5. Sew something for charity
  6. Regularly read sewing and quilting magazines
  7. Spend some time sewing at least every day or every other day
  8. Look first in my fabric stash for what I need before heading to the store
  9. Get together with other sewers
  10. Take a class and learn something new

Top 10

This list really made me smile. I already found myself mentally ticking things off as I went down the list

  1. Frequently clean my sewing machine
    I try and do this every so often before I encounter a problem such as the feed dogs eating my fabric or stitches missing but I know I should do it more regularly
  2. Close the guard on the rotary cutter no matter how soon I’ll be using it again
    Putting my hand up of being guilty of this one. Many a times I don’t know how I haven’t nicked myself as my fingers scrape past it on the craft table moving fabric
  3. Save scraps in an organised manner
    This one I can say I’m trying as demonstrated I still need to go through a heap of fabric scraps I have in my garage but the inside ones are almost controlled
  4. Teach someone to sew
    I’m yet to do this but would love to pass on my skills. I have taught people how to make self covered buttons so at least I’ve passed on some craft knowledge
  5. Sew something for charity
    This one I very much have covered. Last year I made eye pillows, finished a quilt top and did pouches for WIRES. At the moment I’m working on another scrap quilt
  6. Regularly read sewing and quilting magazines
    I subscribe to many sewing and craft magazines and am always on the look out for others which I don’t get. There are a lot of international magazines which I like but don’t get cause of the price so I’m looking at subscribing to the digital version of them
  7. Spend some time sewing at least every day or every other day
    I’ve always got a hand sewing project ready for when I want to sit and watch tv so I get to sew most days. On weekends or days off work I try and get to my sewing machine to do some stitching
  8.  Look first in my fabric stash for what I need before heading to the store
    I have the best fabric store in my garage. My fabric has been breeding for years. No matter how much I use somehow it continues to breed. I dare say with a craft show coming up in a few weeks it may expand further
  9. Get together with other sewers
    I’m lucky enough to meet up with other crafters once a month for coffee and craft at a local café. Its lovely crafting and chatting. I’m also part of a Friday night Facebook sewing group so each Friday we all get together in the virtual world for some sewing and sharing of our projects. Then of course there are the lovely people who read this blog and share with me their crafts
  10. Take a class and learn something new
    I like doing workshops and taking classes when I can. I’m a hands on visual person and like learning this way. At craft shows I try and do at least one class to learn a new craft or skill. I’ve also enrolled in a Craftsy Beginner Serger class I just need to build up the nerve to start it

I’m going to keep trying to follow these 10 rules regularly. As the article says and I’m a firm believer of Sewing is good for our mental health. What do you think of these Top 10 rules? Do you think there should be more? Do you have your own set of Sewing Rules?

Thank You Eye Pillows

I needed a couple of small thank you gifts and decided to make soothing eye pillows.

Eye Pillow L

To make these more personalised I decided to embroider the recipients initial onto the front of them. Normally when I embroider letters I do a simple back stitch as I know I can do it neatly. Due to this fabric being a little busy I wanted a stitch that was a little more bolder. Years ago (9 or 10) I did chain stitching on some Christmas decorations but I haven’t done any since. I had a practice a scrap bit of the fabric first to familiarise myself with it again before I did the front of these. It all came back to me easily and I’m happy with the finished result.

Eye Pillow V

Craft Folder

This is my craft folder.

Craft Folder

The folder is constantly growing. I keep all craft patterns that I draw out in here as well hand written craft notes I make when making items without patterns. I try and scribble notes as I do things so I can remember what to do if it worked out for next time. On printed patterns I have a lot of hand scribbled notes to help me the next time I make it. As previously mentioned I don’t always follow patterns to the exact instructions as I find some methods more easier than others so I tend to do what I’m more comfortable with.

The last type of things that I put in this folder are projects/patterns I find in disposable magazines that I tear out and don’t keep (not my actual craft mags) This is like a version of Pinterest you can hold in your hands. I don’t know if I will get to a lot of these things but if I ever want to at least I have them there already.