Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Scrumptious Beadwork

Serious eye candy for stitchers which I found on Karen Ruane's blog. I watched more than once, well more than twice actually, but I'll leave it there.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Christmas felt ball

I've had a felt ball with a Christmas theme on the go for a while. Well, two felt balls actually. The grandchildren are growing fast so I'd better finish them soon.

The idea came from an old book which I have misplaced so I am making up some of the little blocks now as I go along. The book was by Margaret Hutchings and called Modern Soft Toy Making.

I made this felt ball from the same book.

It's small and colourful and an ideal gift for a new baby or especially for a baby about to start crawling or walking. Both my grandsons loved theirs. You can see here and here how I made it and there are some tips on how to stitch it together.

I'm slowly adding to the 12 pieces I need to complete one new felt ball.

 Just three more to go...

Friday, July 18, 2014


Hedebo embroidery originated in Denmark. It is an openwork embroidery worked on white.

Hedebo embroidery - from Encyclopaedia of Needlework by T de Dillmont
There are various different styles of Hedebo from the geometric shown above to softer more natural shapes in the doily below. Many embroidery techniques are incorporated including drawn thread work, Reticella, cutwork and needlelace.

Hedebo - from Embroider Now by Hetsie van Wyk
There are a number of exquisite examples over on Needleprint like these.

They are from a Japanese book titled Danish Whitework Hedebo and you can see more photographs taken from the book here on the Needleprint blog.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Easy Toddler Skirt and Children's Size Chart

Here's a quick, easy idea for a skirt for a toddler.

My granddaughter is learning to dress herself and, idolising her bigger brother, often ends up trying on his clothes. The other day the teacher at day-care went to change her, lifted up her dress and found a pair of Superman underpants pulled on over her leggings. Ha ha! But the bigger surprise was that there was a second pair of underpants under those! There was much amusement all round. Wish I'd been a fly on the wall that day.

Thinking it may be easier to pull on a skirt over leggings or long pants I set to work. I Googled "free pattern toddler skirt" and then clicked on Pinterest to look for ideas. And there are lots of them. Lots! You can see them here.
The easiest seemed to be a skirt with waist elastic. Easy to make and easy for granddaughter to put on herself. After browsing through a couple of wonderful free tutorials I ended up here, a site called Children's Size Chart. If you sew for children and can't get to take their measurements, these size charts will be very useful.

I worked to a size 3 years, a waist of 53cm (21") and skirt length to above the knee of 21cm (8.25").

Use a waist measurement x1.5 or x2 for a good width for a skirt. I chose waist x 1.5. Then I cut a frill of 2.5x the waist measurement. On the skirt I turned in a casing for a 2cm (3/4") wide elastic and left about 3cm (1 1/4") open at the back for inserting the elastic. I turned up a small hem on the frill. Its much easier to do this before its attached to the skirt.

Run two rows of gathering stitches along the top of the frill, gather it up to fit the skirt and stitch in place.

Finally cut the elastic to waist measurement and use a safety pin to thread it into the casing.
Overlap the elastic ends by 2.5cm (1") and sew together firmly. Sew the casing opening closed and its done.

The frill stands out a bit more than I imagined it would.  Next time I will perhaps make the frill a little longer so it hangs down more.
Not much other stitching has been happening here, but I will take photos of the felt ball I have been working on every now and then, a felt ball with a Christmas theme, and post those soon.
If you have any questions or comments about making a little skirt like the one here, just leave a comment and I will get back to you. In the meantime, whatever you are working on, happy stitching!