Sunday, 17 February 2013

Monster Holes

A few days ago I stumbled upon a lovely example of patching holes in the knees. It was mentioned in a forum and as I used to always have a large pile of jeans that needed patching, I got curious and had a look. Here is the page from Zaubertroll who was inspired by an entry from Rasselbande's blog (here it is) and tried it out herself. After seeing the lovely examples I was almost quite sad that I had no pile of trousers lying around to try this idea out on.

But you can always depend on Son #2 to help Mum ;-)

Doing the ironing this morning I found 3(!!) jeans in total that had 1 - 2 holes at the knees. On the one side, dread came up that they definitely needed patching, on the other side was this 'hmm, maybe I should try the idea out now?' thought.

The patching itself was a bit fiddly, as I normally a) patch by hand and b) have the patch as the top layer and not the trousers that are to be patched. After opening the trouser legs at the seams, I cut around the hole that was to be patched and then cut a piece of darker denim that was a bit larger than the hole in the jeans. Using this piece of denim for scale, I then cut the teeth for the monster out of the light blue denim. The eyes were done in the same fashion.

To begin with, I step-stitched the teeth onto the denim mouth opening and the parts of the eye onto each other (as Son #2 ordered for them to be decorated) were attached with a small zig-zag stitch.

The mouth patch was then fixed inside the opened trouser leg (fiddly part) and to begin with I step-stitched close to the edge of the hole (right side at the top) and then again about 5mm to the side. Then, using a larger zig-zag stitch, I went around the edge of the patch from the top side again, as denim does like to fray a bit.

The eyes were placed above the hole and fixed with the small zig-zag stitch around the edge. It is the first time that I have done an 'application design' with the machine. It's not perfect, but it will do for a first. To be honest, I imagined it to look much worse!

To finish up, I step-stitched the original seam top-down twice and then used the overlock to 'tidy it up'. The overlock parts now look neater and more well done than the original seams, so I am quite sure that it will hold.

Son #2 is very happy with his Monster Holes and has the trousers laid out to wear to school tomorrow, so I guess mission accomplished!!

Baby Legs

So, my second MiniProject on the overlock has been completed. I made some basic baby legs following this tutorial from 'Everything Your Mama Made'. If you're on the look for inexpensive and quick to sew baby legs, just take a look at this.

I will spare you photos, as the socks I used are not very interesting - no patterns, no dazzling colours. It's just 6 pairs for the time being until I decide to sew 'proper ones'.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

It's finished - Madam's First Schürzenkleidchen


It fits as well, however, it will not be long and I will have to make it in size 74 (this one is size 68). She looked absolutely adorable in this when I tried it on her this afternoon.

This will be one of the cuts that will be filling her chest of drawers for the summer!

Eye Judgement Failed me

... only for 4cm, so I am still better at approximating lengths and distances than my husband. But that makes it all the more annoying.

I have been pushing the first 'apron dress' (pattern I first took notice of in a german forum called 'Schürzenkleidchen') for Little Miss Madam aside for weeks now. I made one back last year for my niece (a reversible one) but this time I wanted to make one with only one fabric layer and bias tape for the finishing.

I still had some of the lovely bug cotton here that's just soooo cute, it's screaming to be cut up and sewn for something nice. Last weekend I just 'dropped by' our local fabric store and decided to buy some bias tape (and went brave by picking some checked one). At home, I noticed the green tone was a tiny bit off the green tone in the fabrics pattern, so I put off the dress again. Then sickness taking hold of this house, there wasn't any thinking about throwing the machine on for work.

This afternoon, I was being sick of being sick and trying to catch up with the household chores all put on hold and promised myself to start the dress on the condition that everything would be finished by the evening. And I did manage! So out came the pattern, a sceptical look at the bias tape colour, a deep breath and then the tracing began.

The lovely thing with this Schürzenkleidchen in combination with the bias tape is that you only need seam allowance for the shoulders, everything else is 'to size'. So after cutting out, I pinned the bias tape down as carefully as possible. This was a first in things bias tape for me, so I was a teeny weeny bit nervous.

Whilst pinning the tape around the dress, I got this sinking feeling that I would miss a bit on the length in order to complete the dress. The neckline was the last part I tried to pin and to start with, I thought it would be a close fit - totally wrong, of course!

4cm missing from the neckline - how annoying! At least it's Saturday tomorrow and I can get some more. For the time being I have sewn the other sides ready this evening and must admit, using bias tape can make things look 'really finished'. Even the green tone does not disturb the dress more that the checks in it's pattern do, so I was also very lucky there. Another thing I find great with the bias tape is that the arm holes are really pronounced/rounded out and don't lie there all flat. Probably makes a difference when wearing as well, I guess.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Sooo excited!!

I am really excited now: for months, no years, I have been skulking around all online offers regarding this overlock machine. I saved birthday and christmas money up and then did spend it on the kids instead (as I always do) and started saving it up again until this afternoon.

This afternoon I spotted an offer that I could not ignore. I 'hmmm'-ed and 'awwwww'-ed at my monitor for at least half an hour, trying to decide whether or not I should really spend the saved cash for this machine... Maybe I will hate to sew in a few months time, maybe I should keep the Euros safe for hard times, maybe ... Well, I guess you all know these thinking deadlocks and have had them sometime or the other yourselves.

My darling husband took this decision finally into his own hands saying: "If you don't order it, I will and will give it to you for your birthday - in May!", knowing this would be torture for me to know that the machine is in our house, just sitting there for the next 3 and a bit months, collecting dust with no one to break it in (what cruelty!).

So I ordered it. And a batch of overlock cotton to go with it as well. And on Saturday it will be here!!!

I do wonder, though, whether or not I will dare to try it out when it arrives ;-)

I hope you had a lovely Valentines Day, I sure did!

Monday, 11 February 2013

Cookies Again

It was time for a new batch of cookies as the boys were getting annoying with their whinging. This time, some photos of the delicious chocolate-hazelnut-chip cookies (the boys were out during the baking which meant I actually had some time to grab the camera!)

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Media Player Lift Cover

My eldest ask for electronic gift vouchers for his last birthday and with them he was able to buy himself a Media Player. Not a smartphone as he originally wanted to because his boring, stuffy parents forbid him to do so ;-)

So he and his media player have become very good friends. Son was only worried as during the excitement of being to splash out on such a cool device, he totally forgot to buy a cover or at least some anti-scratch protection for the display.

I had bought some skull and bones cotton about half a year back for him - not really knowing what to do with it but being sure that when the time comes, I will be glad to have it. After a near miss with his younger brother and the life expectation of the media player, the time had come to be glad.

I found this tutorial from Jule (in german) for making lift covers for mobile phones and knew the idea of the extra lift function would be great fun for our son. However, I did adapt the model I made a bit, so it fitted his needs a bit more. The parts up and until the sewing of the hole for the lift belt were taken over as described. Then I decided to sew the lift  about a third of the length down to the inner lining, instead of taking it into the hem as described in the tutorial. The lift was then long enough to be pulled over the media player when inside the cover and be fixed in place with an attached KamSnap.

I used the skull and bones cotton for the lift and the outside lining, a piece of blue fleece that I had left over was then padding and inner lining together.

And, as I thought, the lift is the absolute hit with Son #1: he keeps teasing his little brother saying it's magic, while the little brother is still trying to figure out how it works (in his defence - he has not been given the cover to examine in order to find it out himself, he is only seeing demonstrations of uprising media players...)

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Some more creations

I actually thought, I would not have time to sew today but I had one smaller project that looked like a 'can squeeze in' and I did promise Son #2 to make his old rag doll a few new clothes. So guess how I spent Little Miss Madam's sleeping times and daddy-attention-slots ;-)

The 'squeeze-in' was only such, as I had the stuff to do it already prepared beforehand. I followed a tutorial from Melinella for a sorting roll for bands and ribbons (scroll to 'Webband Sortierrolle'). The one shown in the tutorial is much more prettier, but hey, I am a beginner! Here's mine:

And then the rag doll. Here is Bluey, in his new clothes. He used to wear a romper, but Son #2 thinks that it way too baby-ish and Bluey was in the need for some cooler stuff. Son #2 opted for a fleece button-up shirt, where the buttons should be KamSnaps in alternating colours (wow, what a vision, especially since we are only talking about 3(!)) and a pair of jeans (yeah! Some scraps less *hooray*)

So, son is happy and I have made one more new experience and have decided, that I do not really like sewing doll clothes: they are soooo tiny and fiddly and have totally strange measurements.  The jeans that the doll has on now are the second pair of today. The first did not get past the 'hips' as the buttock region seems to be a bit exaggerated here than would be normal for a human being.... But all in all, I find it quite alright for a  new doll's outfit ;-)

Oven Delights

... or better say, lovely chocolate chip cookies, a tiny bit crunchy but lovely and soft in the inside.

This is a recipe I tried out for the first time two weeks ago. I needed to make another batch 2 days later, as my darling hubbie was complaining that the kids had much more cookies than he had the chance to eat *gg* Last week I baked some other coconut biscuits, however, the boys started moaning that they have not eaten cookies in AGES.

So I took to the oven again, seeing as the shreddie surprises were unsurprisingly non-existent by this morning. And, the same as the last few times, I could hardly bake the cookies as fast as they were being devoured by my seemingly practically starving offspring and their friends. Darling husband decided it was time for some extra precautions after the 2nd baking tray was diminished rapidly and has hidden the rest to nibble on tomorrow.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Yummy, yummy, in my tummy!

I've been trying out new recipes quite a lot in the last past weeks. It's fun to do and my family just loves it (I've been lucky - nothing that has been cooked has been deemed as too disgusting to eat ;-) ).

Now there was an almost full packet of shreddies in my cupboard for a few weeks now, and nobody was making the impression that they would be eating this cereal for breakfast (probably the same problem I have with every 'healthy' cereal: there is not enough sugar, no brightly coloured marshmellows, general lack of having more resemblance to sweeties than to an actual breakfast - that coming from a full monty breakfast lover is rich, I know ...)

Nevertheless, these shreddies were just sitting there, waiting for their 'use by' date quietly and patiently in the kitchen cupboard until I decided it's a right shame to throw them away. So I browsed the world wide web, looking for inspiration for another use of shreddies.

Not only did I find inspiration, I found complete recipes! It's amazing how much you can do with different kinds of cereals apart from spooning it to your mouth first thing in the morning. I opted for a sweet recipe, thinking that chances would be, that the kids would also enjoy it. I tried out Shreddies No-Bake Peanut Butter Squares. And they are really, really tasty.

The crust sticks together somewhat, and if you need to spread this out, it's a tough one, especially if you are carrying Little Miss Madam in a baby wrap on your back because she thinks sleeping during the day is something for really poor, hard-done-by babies.... But the result was worth exercises those wrists!

Son #1 had a friend over to play (a german lad, they tend to be a bit fussy with food that they don't know, especially from english speaking countries. Try and give them a spoonful of good ole baked beans to their chips and burgers - the look on their faces is worth scraping it into the bin afterwards!) and even he loved the 'Shreddie Surprise' as it has been named here by the family. A huge bowl was full of these yummy treats. Now, four hours after the 'free for all' declaration, there are only 8(!) pieces left.

The kids have decided that they love this cereal now ...