Once again this year I will be contributing to Softies For Mirabel a toy drive hosted by Pip Lincolne (Meet Me At Mikes) where toys are hand made for the Mirabel Foundation who support children abandoned due to parental drug use.
This year I tried out a new pattern I had in my stash Simplicity 1549 making 2 toys from it an owl and a bunny. I brought this pattern I think at the start of 2016 but never got around to making it last year.
The owl is made from brown fabric leftover from draft stoppers I made last year. The leg fabric is the same fabric but in a stone colour. The fabric had a very open weave so I decided to use a double layer of it on the body and legs as these areas would be stuffed and I didn’t want it falling apart or the stuffing getting out. The wings are a single layer with a layer of pellon inside each one. I did they eyes differently as I think I have mentioned before I don’t like closed eyes on toys. Eyes give the toy personality and I like them open.
For the bunny I used more of the stone fabric again doing double layers but this time on all pieces. The ears aren’t stuffed but I wanted them to hold their shape so that is why I did double. The purple body is leftover polar fleece as is all the applique on the eyes, ears, nose. The mouth is some pom pom trim from my stash, I love the added bit of texture it gives.
These toys were very easy to make as there wasn’t a lot of pieces or complicated sewing. I did all the applique bits by hand as I enjoy hand sewing but you could have easily done them on the machine.
I hope some little kids enjoy these toys and the toys make them feel safe. They were made with love.
This year my department at work is collecting for the Share The Dignity “Its In The Bag” campaign. The idea is to get an old handbag (or purchase one from a charity shop) and fill the bag with items that a woman in crisis accommodation or who is homeless might need. I crocheted these facecloths to go inside the different bags. Someone else donated cakes of soap so together they will put in a few of the bags. These took me no time at all to whip up, crochet in front of the tv. I like that I can use my crochet skills (even if they are just basic) to give a little happiness to someone in need. I think this is a wonderful campaign and I’m honoured to be able to contribute to it in a small way.
WIRES looks after native animals who become sick, injured or abandoned. The service works every day of the year to rescue and care for the animals. Volunteers care for the animals in their own homes until they are well enough to be released back into the wild. They do an amazing job. I would love to be a carer but unfortunately I can’t but that doesn’t mean you can’t still help WIRES. If you can knit or you can sew your skills can help WIRES. WIRES are always needing pouches. You can either knit them or sew them. They do require that yarn used be 100% wool 8ply and the fabric be 100% cotton or flannelette. The fabric and wool needs to be breathable as the animal in enclosed in the pouch. Carers go through around 6 – 8 fabric pouches per day per animal and may have 4 – 6 animals in their care at any one time.
In the last couple of weeks I made a batch of pouches and in my spare room found another batch I made earlier this year. I’ve washed them all again (they may get ironed) I will post them off next week. I’ve been doing WIRES pouches for a few years now. I love that my sewing can help others. Native animals are close to my heart and I’m glad to be able to help them.
Flosstyle patterns is having a charity fundraiser in April to support Go Blue For Autism and Beyond Blue. The challenge was to make something blue. Of course I was going to take part in a challenge list this.
The Bucket Hat pattern by Flosstyle is a pattern I’ve had in my stash for ages. I actually attempted to make this hat last year. I say attempted as it baffled me. It wasn’t the pattern that was the issue it was me. At the time I was really tired and I couldn’t get construct the pattern in my head therefor not allowing me to construct the pattern in fabric. I cut out some of the pattern and pieces but was too confused by it all. It sat on my mental “To Sew” list ever since. In March Jess from Flosstyle made a YouTube clip demonstrating how to make it. As I’m a visual person watching the clip suddenly it all made sense in my head and I could see how it all fitted together. When the April challenge was announced I knew it was time to attempt the hat again. I ditched all the pieces I’d previously cut (which turned out to be the wrong size) and started again.
I used the same fabric as I’d originally planned to use. It is the chambray fabric from the October Sew Box, it is a nice pale blue colour. To add another tone of blue I used a medium coloured blue thread to do all my stitching in. I really like the contrast. I even used blue Velcro cause you can never have too much blue!
This bucket hat pattern is great. Watching the clip you can see how simple it is too make. I made the adjustable brim version as I like to poke my hair through the hat. This version is a little more complicated than the basic version but still very quick to make. I took my time and did it over a few hours which included tea breaks. I took my time. Thought about each step before I did. I had my tablet on standby in case I needed to watch the YouTube clip again but I didn’t I had it clear in my mind so I didn’t need to refer back to it.
Some areas I’m really happy with such as my side seams matching perfectly on this side (slightly off on the other side) I’m not worried the hat still fits and it is still functional. When I was doing the final bit of construction where all the layers are put together I was so worried about catching the adjustable brim in my seam that I actually missed a tiny part near the edge. No dramas I had stitched it closed.
Wonderclips were invaluable on this I used them on every step except for closing my turning gap at the end. With the multiple layers of fabric clipping them together was much easier than pins. I even used the larger ones to hold the Velcro pieces in place. When I accidentally knocked them off my table they were easier to pick up than pins. I’m so happy with my hat. The pattern includes sizes from baby to adult so you can make them for everyone. I will be doing these again.
The Flosstyle challenge isn’t just about sewing an item it is also about supporting Beyond Blue and Austim so I have made a small donation to each group.
Softies for Mirabel is a toy drive to support the Mirabel Foundation, an organisation which supports kids who are abandoned or orphaned due to parental drug use.
The toy drive has now been going 9 years, for the last few years I’ve wanted to contribute to it but have never gotten the chance. This year they have a theme “all creatures great and small” After this mishap of making Pony early last year I decided I would donate her to this years toy drive, by chance she fitted right in with this years theme when it was announced towards the end of last year. When I finished her off I was really pleased. The koalas also went to the toy drive. I hope these little guys make some kids happy. They are not fancy toys but they were made with love with the intention to be loved by a child. Every child should be able to cuddle up to a soft toy when they are scared or lonely or just because they want too.
The deadline for this years toy drive is January 28th 2016. The toy drive is usually announced around mid October. This year when it is announced I’ll post the details on here if anyone else wants to get involved.
To add into Christmas Hampers my work is doing this year I have done some more shower mitts.
This year I didn’t follow a pattern but had a play around with crocheting a dual sided shower mitt. One side of the mitt is made from 100% cotton yarn. The other side is made from ribbon gauze yarn (think coat hanger covers). I thought this way you could use it for a regular wash but if you wanted to exfoliate your skin your could use it as well. I was working on these at a Knitters Guild meeting on the day someone had donated a large supply of yarn, by chance amongst the lot was a bag of ready made flowers made from the ribbon gauze. These were perfect to add as a little embellishment to the shower mitt.
I will be making these again. They were very simple to make up. At the moment I don’t have a pattern as such for them I just made up the size as I went along but I’m hoping in 2016 to do a tutorial on them.
This beanie is for me!
I’m generally not a pink person but I wanted a pink beanie for a special reason. For the last couple of years I’ve volunteered at the Mothers Day Classic. It’s an annual fun run/walk to raise money for breast cancer. Volunteers are encouraged to wear pink. Last year I wore pink pants and a scarf that was pinkish but I wanted more for this years event. A beanie is perfect because it is really cold in the mornings of the event. I had pink cotton yarn in my stash so using my favourite beanie pattern I knitted up my beanie. Teaming it up with a pink jumper I brought, my pink pants, and scarf (which I’m considering on upgrading) I’ll be very pink this year.