Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 advent calendar (a very late post!)

Hello! Season's greetings! I know I'm super late with a Christmas themed post, and you're probably well and truly over Christmas, if you celebrate it, but please indulge me in posting this, I really wanted to show off our advent calendar.

For several years now I've been making advent calendars using little disposable paper envelopes, but always had it  in mind to sew little fabric pockets, never quite getting around to it. So this year I elevated it to no.1 on the craft project list, did some serious daydreaming, a little Pinterest searching and gathered supplies.

I essentially sewed little pockets to hang from our silver stick (used previously to hang Christmas ornaments) in our corridor. They'd then be filled with treats or suggestions for activities. And as anyone with small children knows, the whole ceremony is quite exciting :-)

The pocket outers are made from one of my favourite oatmeal coloured linens, then each has a contrast colour used for embroidering the numbers and lining the pockets - as seen in the pic above.

Embroidering the numbers took a few days to complete - every kids soccer lesson, swimming lesson and play in the park saw me sitting stitching away, but I loved every minute of it. I find embroidery so enjoyable, particularly freeform style. There were also lengths of ribbon to cut and buttons to sew on - I used a mismatched assortment from my button jar, which worked out fine. What wasn't quite so fun was the production line style sewing of all the linings to the outers, but in the end it wasn't so painful.

And what I'm thrilled about is that we now have something that can be used year after year, creating a little tradition for our family. And with any luck it will be loved and cherished for years to come. The only thing that didn't work out so well was that as I spent so much time making it that the contents were quickly put together and sweets based, little chocolates and lollies mainly, rather than fun activities and outings. But hopefully that will happen next year, when at least one thing will be off my Christmas Craft list!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Shibori Polly top

Well, we're at that time of year again when the holiday season is hurtling towards us and I start to feel panicky... not enough days left to sew and make everything I want but a burning desire, as always, to do it all! I find it so frustrating, but I think the lesson in it all is to just let go and don't expect too much of myself - which is hard. So I spent a bit of time today writing lists of what I would really like to make, and making up a project bag for each including my notes, the pattern and fabric. That way, I'm thinking, I can pick up a project and do it in a slightly more organised way. And hopefully not get sidetracked with all the other possibilities!

Anyway... this is another Polly top (first one here), the free pattern from By Hand London.

Shibori Polly top front

I used a piece of black voile from my stash for the main section, and for the front insert panel I used a piece of fabric I'd shibori dyed in a workshop ages ago. I'd been waiting for the right project to pop up, not wanting to ruin it, and was initially going to use it for a panel in a Wiksten tank, as I love that pattern, especially now that I have the fit just right for me. But when the Polly top pattern came out I thought this would be a better option as my piece was small.

Shibori Polly top front 2

I don't think I got the fit quite right in my first Polly top, and I don't think it's perfect on this one, maybe it will take a few attempts to get it just right, as it did with the Wiksten Tank, but I do like it all the same and have already worn it several times.

Shibori Polly top back

And I figure you can never really have too many little tops like this for summer... I'm sure there will be more.
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