Tuesday, 14 June 2011

One handed crafting...

I can't believe it is the middle of June already... I also can't believe I thought I would be back on top of things and sewing properly again.  However, in spite of the heightened level of chaos a new baby has brought, the enforced quiet (! - still might be more appropriate) feeding time has had an unexpected effect.  Not only have I managed to read a dozen books since he was born, but I have also discovered I can crochet and nurse at the same time. 
I was inspired by a new craft magazine I found by chance - MollieMakes... www.molliemakes.com ... proper craftyporn for those of us who just like lots of pretty pictures to look at.  Learning to crochet was on my 'things to do in 2011' list, and when I saw the sunflower blanket I knew I had to work out how to do it - sharpish.  This is my first attempt... we'll see how it grows...

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Inspiring on every level

I am currently feeling very inspired by an American designer, Anna Maria Horner (http://www.annamariahorner.com/).  I've always been really taken with her fabric design but I recently picked up a copy of her latest book 'Handmade Beginnings'.  The book contains 24 projects for welcoming a new baby into the family (she has 6 children, another reason why I am feeling very inspired by her and her drive) and is an absolute joy just to flick through, let alone actually study in any detail.  I was especially pleased to see a couple of patterns for breastfeeding dresses and tops and am definitely going to make a couple of these for the summer.   I also have serious studio envy having just had a look on her website; I love our new loft bedroom, but it is so flooded with light, I can't help but think it is also rather wasted as a bedroom, it would make a perfect studio for me!

As for me, I am very much on the go slow as the next three and a bit weeks tick away.  I am (trying) to complete a couple of blankets similar to these ones...

before the baby arrives.   Frankly, I think I'll be lucky if the children in question get them before their first birthdays at this rate!  I am particularly excited about the Petite Village fabric I have for the binding though...

it's available from http://www.fabricrehab.co.uk/, who along with http://www.seamstar.co.uk/ and http://www.raystitch.co.uk/ are my favourite online fabric people.

Friday, 28 January 2011

My name is Jen, and I am a fabric addict

Despite the lack of somewhere to work, I seem to have several projects on the go at the moment.  As is often the case I've been inspired by fabrics I wasn't planning to buy, and patterns I wasn't particularly looking for.  

Most exciting though, is the dress I am planning for Lauren; I had been planning to use some shot satin type fabric, but when I saw this beautiful printed cotton I knew I had to get some (this is also why I have a massive blanket chest of fabric in my dining room, I often *have* to get some of something...).  It will be a simple, classic design - a sleeveless, long-ish summer dress with a ribbon round the waist (I would also quite like to knit a matching short-sleeved wraparound ballet style cardigan to go with it, but I knit VERY slowly).  The design is still in my head and needs to be put to paper but photos will definitely follow in time.  This is what I love most about sewing - I see some fabric, I can picture in my head what it could look like in a garment, and then I can make it.*

*when I have somewhere to work again!    

This is Miriam's nappy bag, work in progress

Summery seersucker for the ringsling I am making for myself.  I will also make a sling for Lauren to carry one of her baby dolls.  I've already bought the rings, I just need to dig out some fabric for her sling.

Some gorgeous printed cotton which caught my eye when I was looking for something else.  I'm going to use it to make a dress for Lauren to wear this summer to weddings.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Not a New Year's Resolution.

New Year is a great time for reflection on the year that has passed and making plans for the year to come.  Generally speaking I don’t make New Year’s resolutions; losing  weight and exercising more never last more than a week or so and besides, having spent four of the last six Januarys pregnant, there is a limit to what I can achieve. 
Last year (in about May, not January!), I decided to start being more proactive about building my handmade children’s clothing cottage industry and this year I hope to do the same, once the chaos surrounding a loft conversion and the arrival of my fourth child has subsided a little. In the meantime though, I will be keeping my eye out for beautiful fabrics, creating new designs and fine tuning old ones, generally looking for inspiration in the world and people around me and reporting how things are going via this blog.
So - Number One Inspiration of this week goes to my friend Janine Smith; not only has she made a truly excellent New Year’s Resolution  - to try something new every day of the year, but also has grabbed opportunity with both hands and is spending her days in beautiful New Zealand making lovely things and writing a book.   You can find her at http://janineaswriter.blogspot.com/ if you are interested...