Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sewing for the cat

I think this is the first time I've written about our pets here, I guess because I try to keep the focus of my blog on craft. But finally I have an excuse as I made our cat Olly a new bed last weekend.

Based loosely on this tutorial, it was a great Sunday afternoon project, lots of fun and producing something useful at the end, hooray!

I used stash fabrics: an Ikea printed cotton for the sides (a little joke there as he loves birds, hmm) and then my latest 'fabric crushes': velvet and hessian (burlap). I hoped he'd find the velvet irresistible to lay on, and the hessian would add a little grip and durability.

It's a clever construction idea from the tutorial: a long tube is made which is sewn onto the outside perimeter of the base layers, sandwiching in all layers but leaving a gap for stuffing. I pulled apart an old pillow that was flat and out of shape, using handfuls of the fluff to stuff the base and then the sides before sewing the gap closed. I did consider using bias binding to neaten the edge but decided just to serge it - after all it is not seen when in use. I'm hoping the whole thing can be thrown into the washing machine to clean it - this is one fluffy cat.

I've not been a fan of cat beds in the past - I find cats just sleep wherever they want rather than where you'd like them to sleep, but this cat was in need. He'd taken to sleeping on our bed recently, and not just on our bed but right next to me all snuggled up. Each evening he sits in the lounge room and waits for me to go to bed, then follows me down the corridor and snuggles in. You see I think poor Olly is grieving... our lovely old cat Sausage passed away last month :-( It was quite sudden and we've all been sad. The house feels quiet and empty without him squealing for food and jumping up to meet our hands on the way to pat him ;-)

The Mr reckons cats don't grieve but I'm not so sure - Olly's certainly a lot more sooky than he's ever been at the moment. They were buddies from the start when, as a baby, Olly came to live with us in our new home 10 years ago. Back then it was just me, the Mr and Sausage. These are my favourite photos of them together.

Just imagine me in Sausage's place in the above pic :-) Being spooned by him is cute but not so good for sleep - especially when one or two little people often join us at different stages through the night too!

I'm hoping to get some of my space back on the bed now that he's taken to his new bed, which we keep on the box at the end of our bed. Ah, who knew that as a mum you'd have to play amateur cat psychologist too :-)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Baby doll quilt set

Lately I haven't been feeling hugely creative as this 'settling in period' for our family seems to drag on: one kid starting preschool - many tears involved, one starting school - many tantrums involved, and one continuing at school - needing lots of motivation. So with the tiredness, tears and tantrums (sometimes theirs, occasionally mine too), by the time they are actually in bed at night and all the housework is done, I just haven't got enough mentally or physically to start a new project. Even if I really wanted to earlier in the day.

But, I had promised our lovely preschool director late last year that I would make some bedding for the baby dolls in their home corner. And considering that she has been dealing with my crying/screaming son a couple of times a week, sometimes peeling him off me and comforting him til he stopped crying, once even negotiating with him to get out of the car and come inside while I stood on the footpath despairing of what to do next, I decided it would be a nice time to honour my promise and get on with it!

I decided on making a pillow with pillowcase, sheet and quilt set.

They have 4 cute little baby baskets in the home corner so I made one for each in different fabric scraps from my stash (feeling better about the stash when I can use it for useful things like this :-)

Choosing the fabrics was so much fun.

And I should note that I use the term 'quilting' very loosely - I just used some batting between layers and stitched it to the base layer.

And then sewed and hand stitched coordinating bias binding on.

My girls chose this last fabric combo when I'd run out of inspiration and I really like it - always great to get the kids perspective :-)

Joining in with my creative space over here again and wishing you a minimum of tears and tantrums at your house this week!


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Denim addict

I don't know about you, but I find it hard to go past a great roll of denim in a fabric store. You know the one: a good deep blue, dark but not too dark, good drape but still with enough body and perhaps a little stretch.

When I found this recently I immediately thought of this pattern (below) which I am, umm, quite familiar with now. Number 3 is made and being worn regularly, I'm hoping to get a good pic some time soon so I can blog it. Unlike number 2 which I think is a no-go unfortunately :-( I'm thinking a nice denim version with a little ease added (smaller seams maybe?) could work layered with a cardigan and leggings for autumn or a merino wool top, tights and boots for winter. And wouldn't the denim look great with a bright contrasting piping around the neckline, armholes and that great back feature!

But it would also be a great fabric for this one, Grainline studio's Moss skirt. I'm picturing this as a good little workhorse basic with leggings and flats for autumn or tights and boots for winter:

And maybe even this, Victory's Chloe dress (though it may be a little stiff for this pattern):

But also this one, the Sewaholic Thurlow trouser pattern, which I have been coveting since it came out and am surely going to cave in and buy soon (weak-willed, I know!). Especially after seeing this fabulous pair.

Ah denim, you look great in so many guises... So what do you think, which one should I try? Maybe I should just start with one and attempt to make myself a whole denim wardrobe, hee hee!

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