Thursday, 13 February 2014

Little last-minute Valentine's Day presents

Many years ago I had a friend with whom I'd fallen out of touch for no particular reason. One Valentine's day, on a whim, I sent him an unsigned card on which I wrote:

Roses are red
Violets are blue.
You never ring me
And I never ring you.

I laughed myself stupid imagining him wondering who among his many ex-girlfriends had written it. When I finally confessed years later the poor guy told me that he'd been watching his back for months after receiving my card, but he did (eventually) see the funny side, and I still have a giggle when I think about it.

Practical jokes aside, Valentine's Day remains a non-event around here, despite the best efforts of greeting card manufacturers and red rose growers. Since my son started school, however, I have been known to pop a little something special in his lunchbox on Valentine's - usually just a note, or a little chocolate heart. And now that I have two children at school, two little gifts are required.

R needs something to distinguish her schoolbag from all the others, so using this great tutorial I made a heart-shaped zip pouch that can hang off the side of the bag. Inside it I put a dollar coin (for 'icy-pole Friday' at school) and a couple of our favourite Polish fudge sweets. K already has a little zip pouch for school money and I didn't think he'd go for anything heart-shaped, so he will be getting a personalised word search (thanks to Sanae for the inspiration!) along with some fudge. Sanae has kindly provided a Valentine's word search as a free download, but I used this generator to make one featuring some of K's favourite things.

Happy Valentine's Day, to those of you who celebrate/acknowledge/tolerate it!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

KCW - pompom tutu and spotty linen top

My final projects for Kids Clothes Week, although I almost gave up finishing them as my sewing room is so incredibly hot. 

I half-made the skirt a few weeks ago, inspired by this tutorial (in Dutch) and finished it off today. The skirt in the tutorial is basically a giant tulle rectangle, folded in half to make a bubble skirt, then filled with pompoms and stitched onto an elastic waistband. For my version I added a satin underskirt (without this the skirt would be transparent, which is fine for dress-ups, but not so good for going out) and used satin bias binding to sew a casing for the waistband. The instructions said 'soft tulle', and I used white bridal tulle (ie the expensive kind) that I had bought ages ago when I was planning to make the Oliver + S tutu but baulked at the cost of buying several more metres! As R insisted on wearing her pompom tutu after our photoshoot, even though it was way too hot to wear any skirt at all, I think I can consider it a success.

The top is a simple little self-drafted tank in very light linen. Despite my less-than-wonderful photos (37 degree day, too sweaty to redo them) it looks lovely on R. I painted the spots onto the fabric last night using a little round stamp and some fabric paints. I had intended to use one of those round rubbers on top of a pencil, but even though my children have ridiculously enormous collections of stationery all I could find was a pencil that had once had a rubber - and it had all been used up. So, to my great irritation, I had to carve a little circle out of rubber... a wonky little circle, as it turned out, but I was too hot and sweaty to redo it. Are you noticing the theme here?

Weirdly, the two things almost look like they should go together, and they probably could have if I weren't working with such a limited palette of fabric paints...

So that's it for Kids Clothes Week, summer edition. I've made a nightie, a dress, a skirt and a top - all for my daughter, because my son is increasingly particular about his clothes and I can't seem to come up with any ideas cool enough for him... cool patterns for this age-group (9) are few and far between. If anyone has any ideas for me, I would love to hear them! In the meantime, I'm turning up the cooling and pouring myself a G&T.