Monday, August 30, 2010

Bananas for Monkeys

I have a weakness for monkeys. More precisely toy monkeys or monkey fabric. This must be genetic, since my grandmother loves monkeys as well and has a great collection of monkey knick-knacks. It skipped a generation, though. My mother was an avid collector of everything cat-themed.

My monkey love started to get serious a couple of years ago and I haven't got a really large collection. (You already met Chappy sporting the fabric basket ;-)) I'm more for stuffed animals than knick-knacks and try not to amass too much stuff. This book was a real eye-opener, though. I LOVE IT!!! I can't stress the genius, beauty and cuteness of this book enough!

Here are some of my favourites:

Ask this one for advice, he'll know something clever to say!

I bet this monkey knows how to tell a good joke!

Looking for fashion advice? Just ask her!

This one decided to go as Baby Jane for Halloween!

They break my heart!

So you can imagine that I couldn't resist when I came across this fabric collection online.

(my loot)
(close up)

Or these socks including instructions!!! Now I can make my very own sock monkey! Yay! :-)

I'll only have to decide what it should look like and get some other projects finished, first ...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Scalloped Baby Blanket

Here I am still obsessed with the Laura Ashley fabric! It hit me, how well this fabric pairs with this pretty Folksy Flannel design I had in my stash. (With lots of babies on their way in our circle, I thought I'd better stash up on flannels. :-)) So I decided to make a Scalloped Baby Blanket as seen in Bend-the-Rules Sewing. I made two of these 3 years ago for my friend's twins (then both sides were regular cotton fabric) and I liked the project a lot.

This time I tried to make the scallops a little too "scallopy" for their own good. At times when I made the scallop edge too deep, the fabric puckers when turned right side out. Well, from now on I'll know better ... The vintage feel of the fabrics goes really well with the scallop design, I think. This is a really summery, happy, nostalgic blanket. I also think that the future recipient could use it all through childhood right into her teens and beyond as a doll blanket, little throw or even a table cloth. While the colours and patterns in the fabrics are very "now" I think they are also timeless.

As you may be able to tell by the light in these pictures, we are slowly making headway into autumn around here. It's become rainier, darker and chillier, all starting last weekend. When this blanket's recipient is born, it will be almost winter.

Pretty colours and cozy flannel to keep baby warm and happy!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Summer pillows

Last week I decided to make the most of what remains of summer (and the summer sales ;-)) by purchasing this Laura Ashley fabric. I got several metres, since the price was really low and I really like the happy colours in this print. I first used some of it for making a fabric basket and then I thought: pillows! I also have some ideas how to turn this fabric into gifts for friends.

I made two pillows to go with our light blue linens, I think the prints go well together! They are simple slip covers and were really easy to make. I took a finished pillow as a model and I'm really happy with how they turned out! A nice one-afternoon-project. Today it's really grey here, but the pillows remain cheery! :-)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Pink Penguin fabric basket

Here's a little fabric basket that I made for my future mother-in-law following Ayumi's great tutorial. This was a really fun project and the basket is really cute! It's recipient liked it as well! :-)

I tried to combine fabrics and colours that my mother-in-law would like. I used two layers of flannel instead of quilt batting, since I didn't have any batting and the flannel works just as well, I think. The only problem with using the flannel is that the layers get quite thick added up, so you need a strong needle and when stitching the upper rim you have to be a bit careful.

For the bottom and right sides of the handles I used an old linen dishtowel. It was a bit worn at some points so I decided to cut into it and use the parts of it that are still fine. The linen is a beautiful quality and especially soft since it has been washed a lot. I particularly like the green stripe. Pity it is hidden on the bottom of the basket!

There are so many uses I can think of for a basket like this, and using it as a hat is just one of them! ;-) I surely will make more of these as presents and for myself! Thank you Ayumi for a great tutorial and thank you Kirsty for introducing me to the Pink Penguin!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

say no to catching dust

These covers were made with instructions from one of my favourite sewing books, Simple Sewing with a French Twist by Céline Dupuy. They were really simple and fast to make and I think they look great in this large-patterned Ikea fabric. They are really practical for those jackets and coats that somehow always end up hanging from the hallway coat rack all year round.