Wednesday, September 29, 2010


This shirt is for my friend's little boy and looks great worn as a layering piece over a long-sleeved T-shirt for autumn.

I used two of my fiancé's old shirts for this. They were too worn at the collars & cuffs to be used at work, but apart from that still in good shape. The cool thing about this is that you don't have to bother with button holes and attaching buttons, since you can use the existing ones of the shirts!

I couldn't be bothered with a collar, either. Also, I think this bias edge looks much more relaxed and in synch with the mix of materials here. It's supposed to be a fun shirt for every day, so no fussy collars disturbing playtime.

I used a basic children's shirt pattern and made half-sleeves. Also I made a yoke which is cut on the bias to add further interest.

I like the pleats in the back, as well. Of course, you could also make something similar using only one old men's shirt. It's good to see this nice fabric getting a new lease of live!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Meet Herman!

This is Herman the Sock Monkey and made from two red heel socks like the ones in this post. I followed the instructions included with the socks and making him really wasn't difficult. I liked that the outcome and character of the monkey are all the time a bit of a surprise. Every little detail can influence the personality of the monkey like what kind of eyes you choose or how its mouth is going to look like. It is also a nice way of venturing into the new territory of making stuffies.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Some small sewing

It's my good friend Dana's birthday next week and I put a little package together to send to her. She and her boyfriend visited us here in Helsinki in August, so I decided that the items in it should follow a Finland theme.

I made her a pretty patchwork wristlet following the Pink Penguin's fun tutorial. I arranged the fabrics so that the panels represent the Finnish flag.

The fabrics I used were mostly scraps from my stash, some of them given to me by a friend of my grandmother's. The patterns are all so pretty!

The vintage zipper came from my mother's sewing box. Love the hardware!

I decided to quilt the patchwork panel and batting (I used one layer of flannel here) together with zigzag stitch and I love the look of it!

Cute little loop!

I took these pictures yesterday and today the weather is even greyer, so I won't even attempt to take pictures of the other goodies in the package. But here's a list with links: a tea towel with Finland-themed design (the bigger blue one), the best crushed cardamom for making Finnish pulla, some shop-bought mini pulla for those days one can't be bothered to start baking, some chocolate filled with salmiak (here's a pic in a Finnish review) and some delicious autumn tea. All things you cannot easily get in Germany or elsewhere except Finland. I'm really happy with this package and I hope it arrives safely and well in time for my friend's birthday.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I guess, I'll be multi-tasking this autumn ...

Forgive me the slightly forced title! It was too silly to resist ...!

Yes, this bag is made with Anna Maria Horner's Multi-Tasker Tote pattern. I know ... I think she has been responsible for 90% of my sewing output and inspiration this year! I'm really looking forward to her gorgeous new collection, but honestly, I think I could keep going for another year on her Little Folks collection alone ...

The fabrics I used are from Finnish brand Marimekko. I bought them in a sale they had a couple of years ago, because I liked the prints and colours. I didn't really know what to do with them, though, until I saw the Multi-Tasker Tote pattern and then everything was clear! The main tote fabric is a sturdy cotton as used for instance in curtains or tablecloths and the print is Tilkkula by Erja Hirvi. The lining fabric is a cotton satin weave with the classic Puketti print by Annika Rimala.

The tote pattern and instructions were very clear and everything came together nicely. I really enjoyed working with this kind of pattern, for a change. I'm usually using European patterns from magazines where you have to trace (sometimes even scale) the patterns and there are only quite meagre written instructions. This was really almost mindless sewing. And very relaxing. You simply cut out the pattern, the instructions clearly telling you at every step what to do. Plus there are how-to pictures for a lot of the steps! Definitely worth the money.

Well, the title isn't only silly, it's also true ... I have a lot of projects I want, have or have promised to do. At times it is slightly overwhelming, because (as probably many crafters know) just when you really don't have time for it, inspiration strikes. I feel like the more projects I'm taking on and the more I make, the more ideas I get, which would be great, if only I wasn't so impatient! :-P At the moment one big project is on the forefront, I've been working on it for a bit and it's already in a good stage of completion. I'll tell you more about it, soon.

After I finish that, there's an even bigger project waiting for me which I'm really excited about, but also intimidated by. I'll also tell you about that one, once the time is right. Well, I guess everybody knows about craft anxiety and the dilemma that the project at hand keeps you from all the other 1000 ideas you have. And the feeling that you would like to rush through things to finish everything right now, but you know that rushing is no good ... I guess it's good to take some little breaks from big projects once in a while and do something just for fun. Like this great tote!

Boxed corners are cool! :-)

Monday, September 6, 2010

That's more like it ...

Remember this dilemma I had? Well, I decided to keep the central panels as they were and appliqued them to neutral coloured canvas.

I used thread in matching colours and attached the panels with a zigzag stitch. I adjusted the width of the stitch to almost the maximum and the length to almost zero. This technique required a lot of thread (I used about half a regular spool per pillow), but it looks very nice, I think.

The colours of the fabrics and the feel of the prints go really well with the rest of our living room. My fiancé likes the fabrics as well, especially the Pressed Flowers print (below right).

The backs of the pillows are made with the same cotton canvas used on the front and I made a simple slip cover style, which means simple construction and no zippers or buttons in the way of comfort. As you can see in the first picture, we could do with some pictures on our wall, but actually the pillows have a really nice framed feel. They are cuddly pictures, so to speak, and I can't see anything wrong with that! :-D

Love that bird in the corner there! :-)