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Old t shirts make a new seat

6 Apr

Our lovely friend A– had left this out for someone to adopt. It caught my eye because it’s one of those projects everyone did at school – my mum made one, my little sister made one. But I never did….

Used 2 balls of Jersey yarn I cut from old tshirts and a 50p charity shop find elastic threader to do my weaving. I found that an extra loop round the frame at the end of each row kept everything taut.

New stool!

Made our own snowglobes!

7 Dec

This was fun… Some plastic toy figures, a clean jam jar, some glycerine (from the supermarket near all the food colouring), some glitter, tap water, superglue or sugru. We stuck the figures to the jar lid and let them set overnight… We used sugru but you could use superglue. Then put less than a teaspoon of glitter into the jar (the flaky large glitter works best and you can mix colours), add water, a dash of glycerin (it thickens the water and makes the glitter fall more slowly), seal the lid and shake. We topped the water right up to the top so there was next to no air in the jar when it was sealed. You could glue the lid on but we’re living dangerously!
Happy Christmas!

Barbie… but on my terms

12 Sep

Meet ladylike Barbie. She cost £7 but arrived looking like, well, a bit of a slut. Mattel could so so much better. I made this dress for her so she is presentable. I then put her back in the box and resealed it. Hoping ‘Prima’ won’t know the difference. Can’t do much about her vital statistics though. I have given in to Barbie but feel the change of clothes is meaningful. The reason I have given in is precisely because of the clothes in fact… It was because I made things for our Barbie and Sindy when I was a kid that I taught myself to make at all. And I managed to come away without any freaky body issues. Notes to Mattel… Give the girl some pants, cut her hair properly so it’s not all different lengths, give her some decent clothes that cover her ****…
…Do you think Number 1 will consent to me making some more couture pieces?

Sugru hack vintage style

2 Sep


My porcelain pencil sharpener… Take one 50p boot sale Royal Worcester porcelain pot, one pencil sharpener and half a sugru sachet. Sugru’s that mouldable silicon that air dries as a flexible waterproof tough heatproof form. Think useful plasticine. Think ‘I can mend or hack anything’. So now all the pencil shavings collect daintily and usefully in the pot. Hurrah. Sugru is wonderful and inspiring.

Pink Sister Flags

16 Sep


Just a quick post to show you another Pink Sister commission. Have not made flags or bunting since I made 30metres of the stuff for my niece’s christening. (But these have since done good service in our garden, for kids parties, for church halls, for school fetes…. We are available for weddings, bar mitzvahs, street parties!) Have recovered from that experience and these rainbow ones gave me great pleasure to produce. They are a mixture of brand new and vintage fabrics, including some lovely French Fifties cottons. If you fancy some then please email to discuss a commission. They are in the shop now.

How to make recycled crayons

24 Aug


I was picking up the crayons from all over the floor AGAIN and decided to remove and throw all the tiny ones that are only really good for throwing all over the floor. But I hate to throw anything away and decided to try recycling these into new crayons instead. Turns out to be very easy. NB I only used conventional wax crayons here so no fumes from melting plastics.
1. Get a silicon ice cube or cake mould. (Aside: I have actually retired mine anyway because I am worried about cakes and biscuits being tainted by trace minerals at high temperatures. I hope i am only being neurotic. I am now using greaseproof paper rubbed over with sunflower oil, which works v well.)
2. Peel paper off crayons and cut into tiny pieces to help them melt fast. (I employ child labour for the paper peeling because it is the only lengthy and tough bit of this exercise.) Put matching colours together in the mould or go for a swirly combination of lots of colours.
3. Put into a preheated oven at 250C. Leave for 10mins to melt. You have to keep an eye on them because the smaller the pieces and the hotter your oven… It could be done in 5 mins or so.
4. Cool completely (in the fridge) before popping out of the moulds.
Number 1 and 2 were suitably impressed and said that they were good for doing the sky and the grass fast because they are quite big.

Fringe or no fringe… Hair bands

7 Aug


Number 1 is growing out her hair. We have had fringes before and grown our hair out before and Cut Our Own Hair ! ! before. So we have a bunch of hairbands to keep her tidy and smiley and deter any repeats of the haircutting episode. If I was not lazy they would all have matching thread… But No.1 was happy. And it was a good way to use up small pieces of cotton fabric left over from making her dresses and skirts.

To make a similar hairband for a 4-8 year old you need:
10cm piece of 0.5 inch wide elastic
Safety pin for threading elastic through
Fabric for gathered elastic piece at back of head = 21cm x 5cm
Fabric for front = 40cm x 10.5cm
Includes the seam allowance

Rapunzel dress

24 Jul


Into a routine this week of cutting fabric late at night ready to be made up the following day. I can sew quickly with the two around but not cut the pattern at speed – too many expensive mistakes. I feel like the shoemaker’s elves, or was that the other way around. Anyway today Number 1 received this fairy tale gown c/o mummy and her Ardingly haul of old fabric. I was thinking it was like the curtain clothes Maria makes for the kids in the Sound of Music. Number 1 declared it very suitable for Rapunzel. I believe that is good.

Pee / Pea coat

23 Jul


Toilet training number 2. He has to have it nailed by the time he starts at nursery in September. I do not want to be the mummy who has to keep picking up a sealed plastic bag of wet pants at the door! Good progress last 2 days. Boy does some warm weather help.
But I am already thinking ahead to autumn with some new duds for him… This is a jacket made from what I could salvage from my stockroom late last night whilst watching Wallander on iplayer. The outer is a faded denim moleskin fabric, very soft and thick with a subtle check. The inside is from a big pile of woollen fabric from my ma’s attic. The pattern goes up to age 6 so number 1 may get one too. It is adapted (most appropriately given our current focus) from the pea coat pattern from Dear My Kids on Etsy and the instructions could not have been easier. Will be looking through their catalogue again.

From Elephant knife case to Shakespeare

22 Jul


Scrap fabric project… Elephant knife case to keep my elegant knives picked up at Ardingly antiques this week. It is (I claim) most worthwhile to make cases for cutlery because it keeps it from the air and means that you rarely have to polish silver and plate and stops it getting scratched and mixed up in a heap. Anyway it’s a great pleasure to sew something quick by hand while watching the BBC Henry V. I can live without Henry IV – Falstaff bores me I fear – but the Hollow Crown sequence has opened my eyes to Richard II with a sublime production and perfect casting of Ben Whishaw. The only dud note was the laboured St Sebastian reference. Off to watch more of Tom Hiddleston being manly. And on a final note of mixing home decor and Shakespeare… Have finally caught onto Hark a Vagrant. I challenge thee not to spend all afternoon here.

For the whole Macbeth, and coverage of most significant events in western civilisation… Hark a Vagrant.