Friday, February 27, 2015

flashback friday - reading pouffe

i made this reading pouffe for miss S when i decorated her room. i used this tutorial from living with punks. it was pretty easy to follow and i was super pleased with the resulting pouffe.

my piping technique could use a little refining, as could my zip inserting technique!

i appliqued on little circles of liberty prints, and to make them really pop i stab stitched around the outside.

the main fabric is the leftovers from the fabric I made the blinds for miss S' bedroom. it started life as a duvet cover from ikea. one side was grey with white dots and the other white with grey dots. the white with grey dots will eventually become the backing for her quilt (watch this space!) and it's filled with beanbag beans which have been sitting around in a plastic bag annoying me for the last few years!

Friday, January 30, 2015

family name cushions

we were invited to a friends UK wedding back in may (they actually got married in South Africa - but had a party when they got back) and as there was no gift list, and it was a fairly informal affair I wasn't sure what to get as a gift........

so i decided to make them a family name cushion, after much practicing of my cursive hand writing, and many attempts at drawing it out, i was finally happy with it, and set about embroidering in a lovely soft charcoal, onto white fabric from ikea.

i even managed my first ever zip!

then i had quite a bit of interest from friends as was commissioned to do a few as christmas presents, and finally got around to making one for my brother and sister in law. i forgot to take a picture but the back is made up of these great prints i bought way back one, half is italian (my sister in law is half italian) and had london/british fabric

i'm quite pleased with the look of them, and might add them to my etsy shop which i might one day get around to stocking and opening!

Friday, January 23, 2015

flashback friday - teachers presents

i have so many craft/sewing projects which i haven't blogged. time just flies by and other things take priority over blogging. so i'm going to try to blog about a past project every friday.....

in july last year, no. 1 finished her first year at big school. i wanted her teachers to have a hand made thank you present.

for her teacher i made her a make-up bag, i used anna from noodlehead's open wide zippered pouch tutorial (she has so many great tutorials and patterns - i really must make a few more)

i made a patchwork panel for the bottom and embroidered her initials on the front

i used some long stashed amy butler dots for the lining. i really wanted to use a chunky jean style zip, but couldn't find any long enough which didn't cost an arm and a leg.

and for the teaching assistant i was reliably informed she received an iPad for her birthday, with some careful detective worked i discovered it was an iPad air and set about making her a cover.

some prized liberty appliquéd initial, and some sneaky gnomes for the lining.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


no.1's very good friends are twin, and they turned six today.

as their gift i wanted to make them something, but what do you make for a six year old boy (unless you work in a toy factory in china - then you could make loads of stuff they'd like!) they are completely and utterly into minecraft - so a minecraft cushion it is!

i ordered the fabrics from plush addict after school on tuesday and they were through the letter box on wednesday! very impressive.

i did all my maths to calculate what size squares i would need for a 30cm cushion insert, cut some squares out and decided my maths must have been wrong and cut lots and lots of squares a bit smaller...... turns out my maths was right, so this one has a black border to make it a bit bigger.

then i went back to my originally calculations and made this one....

in a way i quite like that they are different as they are for twins, it's nice for them to have things not exactly the same.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

2015 + resolutions

hello 2015, and hello poor desolate, neglected blog.

i find it astonishing how quickly the years fly by. i remember being at school and the six week summer holidays felt like an eternity, and you'd forgotten how to write when you got back to school! now six weeks fly by without me even noticing. i guess that's kids and motherhood for you.

usually i don't really go in for new years resolutions (probably because i know i'm so flaky i'll never stick to them) but this year i have a whole array of resolutions and i thought if i come here and write them down it will make me a little more accountable for them, here's hoping anyway.

so here goes....

blog more - an oldy but a goody, i have said this so many times, and i'd like to say "but this time i'll stick to it" but you know what, i probably won't but i'd like to try a little harder to blog more consistently. i have so many projects which i'd love to blog about, but never seem to get around to it. in fact i never blogged about the quilt i made for my oldest daughter four years ago! maybe i'll go through all my old projects (which i still have or remembered to take a picture of before i gave it away!) and show you.

open my etsy shop - i started fifi & florence as a proper business last summer, with a shelf in a lovely little shop in Olney, Northants, called Afterglow. the shelf pays for itself and makes me a little bit, but some of my products i think are much more suited to online purchasers, so this year i will (finally) stock my etsy shop.

sort my back out - i've had problems with my lower back/hip since i had my first child, and after 11lb number three came along, it just hasn't gone away. i think it all stems from a weak core, so i'm gonna get my shizzle together and sort it out!

wave good bye to my mummy tummy - as mentioned above, i had an 11lb (yes 5kg) baby two years ago, and being 5ft 2 in this really took it's toll on my body. i still look about 5 months pregnant, and regularly get asked when i'm due, or i can see people look at my tummy in a kind of "oooh, is she pregnant again" way (this is probably all in my mind but hey) i've tried the tupler technique on and off for the last two years, but I just can't stick to it. you have to wear a splint day and night, which in all honesty isn't that comfortable. it's an 18 week programme and i've only ever made it to week five (see flaky), i've seen a difference after the five weeks, but then i fall off the wagon and after a few days it's back to hello big belly. so i've done some research and come across the mutu system, which deals with a weak core and poor body alignment, it's a 12 week programme with core and overall body workouts as well as an clean eating plan. so i'm all signed up, started watching some of the videos and plan to document my progress here.

be more organised - another oldy but a good. i'm so disorganised and i'm always late. this is definitely a part of my character and something which won't change completely, but i'd like to be a bit better. my mantra - "be more like MIL, be more like MIL" who is a cleaning up and organising whirlwind!

oh, and remember birthdays and send cards on time!!

so there we have it my resolutions for 2015 - lets see how we get on........

Monday, July 28, 2014

Kids Clothes Week - almost done!

Been plugging away at getting these dresses finished for the girls to wear to a wedding next week. And finally they're (almost) finished! Thank you KCW for giving me the push to get them finished - otherwise they'd have been going to the wedding in shorts and t-shirt or a princess dress-up - possibly not appropriate.

Here is S's dress....

The spots were inspired by this beautiful dress which I pinned literally years ago. The colour of the spots doesn't come out quite right on the photos, they are a lovely bronze colour. I used a dylon metallic fabric paint to paint them.

The dress itself is based on the geranium pattern from Made by Rae. But I wanted a added length to the bodice to make the dress a little more sophisticated for a five and half year old (who hates dresses!)I also modified the neckline a little by making it wider.

I was super duper pleased with myself with the seams. I couldn't get my head around how you would do french seams with in-seam pockets - so was on the cusp of losing one of them. The fabric is extremely prone to fraying, so french seams were called for, and I love in-seam pockets for little girls, so didn't want to lose them. So in came my goole-in-shining-armour! I found this tutorial and it was easy pips!

And here is H's dress

This time with gold spots which I thought looked better with the pink. I did the dame sort of modifications to the bodice as I did for the blue dress, and was inspired by the Caroline Party Dress for a full skirt with tulle.

It's the first time I've sewn a garment with a zip, and it was pretty easy and I'm pretty pleased with the outcome (I won't show you the bottom of the zip where the seams don't meet - shhhhh!) I used this tutorial from Groovy Baby and Mama for the zip

And this time I used the lining fabric for nice soft pockets.

The fabrics which I used for both were a complete bargain. I think I paid about £4 for each colour. I think they are curtain fabric. They look a bit like silk, but I'm not 100% convinced that it is!

It doesn't wash well, so these are one wear only dresses. Writing that down makes these dresses seem silly - a lot of work for one wear - but I think my girls will look so lovely in them, and at least no-one else will be wearing the same thing! 

Right - now I need to paint spots on the back, and sew some tulle onto the lining to make them princessy and hold their shape a bit better!

Friday, July 25, 2014

KCW Day 1,2,3 and 4!!

Not a lot to show for days one through four - well no finished garments anyway.

I'm working on dresses for my girls to wear to a wedding in two weeks - a modified Geranium and a Geranium with some inspiration from the Caroline Party Dress. Hopefully I'll have something worth photographing tomorrow.

Today I worked on a bow tie using this tutorial from A Lemon Squeezy Home. I think it's turned out a little bit too big - G is only 18 months, I think the sizing would be fine for an older boy, but I'm going to remake it slightly smaller.