Wednesday, 26 March 2014

a little bit of sewing

Today my littlest man, Alistair stayed at home with me. He was poorly last night with a high fever and I decided to keep him home. He was none too happy. You see, today was his Fairyland event, a project for which the children have worked hard since Christmas. Parents were invited to join the children for an hour of fairy tale adventures and games. Alistair was the tiniest of the three bears in Goldilocks and the three bears.

I had big plans for today but of course with a little clingy snotty bear, nothing much gets done. Well, to be honest, I just wanted to unpack all my fabrics and decide on a quilting project. I am in need of some sewing practice because soon, I'll have to sew 16 ballet rainbow outfits. I also want to sew a dress for myself and earlier this week, I ordered a pattern (Washi Dress). I can't start this project just yet because I need to loose two or three inches of my waist first. I can't bring myself to make the supersized tent version of the dress. Besides, the fabric for a tent-sized dress would cost a fortune.


Instead of planning a quilt, I enjoyed a coffee with my friend Christine, who came for a wee visit. We spent the morning in the garden, chatting and enjoying the March sun. Alistair was wrapped in a blanket and snuggled up on my lap. It was nice. Being at home has definitely advantages.

Around lunchtime, Alistair decided that he was absolutely better. He didn't want to miss his Fairyland event I think. I was in two minds but after a big bowl of cereal (he insisted on breakfast for lunch), he changed into his school uniform and I took him to school. It was only an hour before the parents were due to see the children and I figured he would be ok.

I rushed home to get my fabrics out. I didn't have much time but I thought I could sew a quick eye mask for the summer. Summer nights in Scotland are short but I like to sleep in darkness and so I sleep with one of those super attractive eye masks that you sometimes get on long haul flights. The one I had for years is a bit worn out (to put it nicely) and I didn't think it was rocket science to make one.

I found an old cotton dress that will never fit me again and an old black vest top that I can no longer wear in public. I printed off a template but if you have a pair of skiing goggles, trace these on a piece of paper instead.



I cut two pieces of cotton fabric and one of the black vest top. I did manage to cut them so uneven that I had to start again... If you have any common sense (I don't), you would of course layer the fabric, pin it together and cut it in one go. Which is what I did the second time round. I found a wide elastic band in my sewing box, which I roughly measured to fit around my head.

I very nearly got the layers wrong when I assembled the pieces. It is not unusual for me to end up with the wrong side on the outside when sewing simple things. Eventually, I got it right. So here it is how:
  • Place the first cotton piece on the table with the right side facing you
  • Place the elastic band on so that the ends are facing outwards. Bunch the middle bit of the elastic up so it doesn't get in the way
  • Place the second cotton piece on top, with the wrong side facing you
  • Place the dark lining on top
  • Hold it all together with pins.

Above is the assembly turned over so I could draw a line with marker pen to guide my sewing. This is not so easy on black fabric. Sewing is real quick, it takes less than minute with a sewing machine. It is important to leave a gap, maybe 5 cm, so that the mask can be turned out later.

After sewing, I cut teeny tiny triangles around the curvy bits so it would later stay flat.


Turning the mask around is a bit like inverting a sock when it is the wrong way.
I pushed the edges out with my fingers and ironed the mask. Lastly, I finished by closing the gap with a few hand stitches. Easy.

Unfortunately, the model was a bit grumpy.


I did of course not do this in the hour before returning to school. The heating engineer had to be called back because when he fixed the heating this morning, he somehow stopped the hot water from working, a few phone calls had to be made and some washing needed to go on the line, too. I finished the eye mask after school.

Because of course I did remember to dash back to school to spend an hour at Fairyland with my littlest boy. It was sweet, the little children were all singing beautifully and tunelessly but from the bottom of their hearts and they remembered their lines. Alistair's was "we also built a castle" and he nearly missed his cue. We then spent 30 minutes playing games like "throw a fairy tale" using dice with fairy tale characters on and making a story with the characters on the sides showing. Having been at the same event with the three older children, I was bored out of my wits but I think I hid it well, although my enthusiasm may have bordered on hysteria, I am not sure. Alistair was a hoot. He always is. He is the smallest of all the school children and is so cute that all mums and girls and even some dads"ooohh" and "ahhhh" when he does anything at all, or even when he does nothing but stand in line with the other children.

And so ends another lovely day. I hope yours was as good as mine. Cx

25 comments:

  1. Sounds like a productive day and I love your eye mask.

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  2. That looks like a fairly easy sewing project for a novice like me. Have thought about investing in a sewing machine as I'd love to make a quilt.

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    1. We have recently bought Annie a John Lewis sewing machine which is really good. It cost £100 and has a good strong motor and 14 basic stitches. It should last for a very long time. As far as I know, John Lewis sewing machines are made by Janome, which is a really good make (mine is old and trustworthy).

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  3. It came out really well. I love that you made it from old clothes, that's very frugal and conscientious of you. I'm glad the Fairyland performance went well and I hope he's back to his old self by now.

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    1. I have been collecting old dresses and shirts for a quilting project because some come with lovely memories attached and I thought it would be nice to have memories stitched into a quilt. I only used a little of the dress for my eye mask.

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  4. Poor little man, I do hope he's better soon. So often they are ill on a special occasion. I love the eye mask. I used to have one, and I really ought to make another, because I'm waking up earlier and earlier at the moment. It's light enough that there's a 5 on the clock when I look now. Ugh.

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    1. Yes, I have been waking up very early, too. I could make proper heavy curtains but an eye mask is so much quicker...

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  5. Glad Alistair was better enough to enjoy his fun afternoon properly - they do bounce back quickly don't they? Wish we didn't lose that facility as we got older! love your sewing plans and your eye mask from repurposed fabric is super! always so satisfying to recycle something like that. I too have got a sewing urge at the moment - perhaps it's a Spring thing! I've had a look at the Washi dress pattern - looks lovely! Go for it! I've got a similar pattern from a Japanese sewing book that I made last year - after reading this I've got a feeling a second one in a different colourway might be just the ticket when I get some sewing time! Thank you! have a lovely day Christina! E x

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    1. Sewing is definitely a Spring thing for me, the urge is almost as strong as airing the duvet with the first properly warm Mach sun. Have a lovely day, too, Elisabeth. Cx

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  6. Love this simple project and all the colourful fabrics x

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    1. Thank you. I love to buy fabric and have far too much...

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  7. I'm so glad Alistair was able to make it to his Fairyland day at school. When you are so young it can seem like the end of the world to miss out on events like that. Well done on the sewing project! I am hopeless when it comes to sewing. Next week a friend and I are going to be making our Miss Maggie Rabbits and I am so afraid I will sew mine together the wrong way. I have a gift for messing up anything to do with a needle and thread. Thankfully I do a bit better with needles and yarn!

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    1. I am sure Maggie Rabbit will just be perfect! I it is easy, the longer tubes are legs, the shorter ones are arms :). You could knit a beautiful Fair Isle sweater to hide imperfections, should there be any. Cx

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  8. I'm glad Alistair recovered so quickly, children do that so much better than we do don't they? And the mask is so pretty, good work!

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    1. The mask doesn't look quite so pretty on my middle aged face! Particularly after a nights sleep....

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  9. I am also getting the urge to make stuff...I do have plans to dust off my sewing machine (literally....it's on top of a wardrobe and we've had building work done!!) and make things...starting with a skirt for BigR and if that goes d well maybe something for me? We got a blackout blind and thick curtains in our room just recently (after only having a venetian blind for 10 years) and it's made such a difference. I always used a mask in the summer but it was no where near as beautiful as yours.
    Glad your son is better again :)
    x

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    1. I used to sew all of Annie's dresses, so much fun and the fabric needed for a small person is affordable, too. Have fun with your sewing machine.

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  10. That sounds like a day turned out for the best all round. Glad your little man recovered enough to take part.

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    1. Yes, Alistair is quite robust (but he was off again the day after).

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  11. Hey Christina,

    Children bounce back very quickly, don't they? I now miss the concerts and plays put on by little ones, and am looking forward to doing at all again with Olly from September. I remember having to see a play that Sam was in 6 times, which was a stretch.

    Have a lovely weekend. Thanks for all your support this past week or so. Life. Nothing but a bubble.

    Leanne xx

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    1. I have got two Christmas plays left, and three end of primary school shows.... I am sure I'll miss them once there aren't any to go to! Always happy to help Leanne. Have a great week. Cx

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  12. I have seen that washi dress pattern a few times lately and think it's lovely. Your eye mask is great, sometimes we need these smaller projects to boost our confidence before tackling the big ones. 16 rainbow ballet outfits, eh? How did you get roped into that one!? x

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    1. Annie volunteered me when she was in primary one and I have been sewing outfits ever since. It is not as bad as it sounds, the outfits are very very simple and plain. x

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  13. I'm still drooling over the flowery fabric in your (neatly folded) material stash. Looks like a very cool retro sheet. Great sewing project. I thinks its ok to keep kiddies home for a morning or day sometimes, they just get so worn out with school and all that growing they do. I eat bowls of cereal at all strange times of the day and night but never for breakfast. xo

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx