Sunday, 28 March 2010

Bunny Egg Cosy Tutorial

It's been sunshine and showers around here, so fair-weather gardener that I am, I have been in my studio quite a but during the rainy moments. And it is still quite chilly, so I have been drawn to use cosy fabrics, especially wool felt and felted jumpers. Spring is the perfect time to sort out the scraggy looking woollies that really have had their day. And so chucking them in a  hot wash gives me the pleasure of some splendid felt to play with. More on that in another post! But with the remnants, I came up with these bunny egg cosies that will make splendid Easter presents. And they are so easy and quick, I thought I'd share the pattern.

What you will need:
* The pattern, click on the pattern below and print it off. You may need to resize to the measurements marked on it, sorry I'm not very good at sorting these things out for you!
* Felt, I like to use wool felt as it so nice to sew with, or a bit of a felted jumper
* A scrap of felt for the nose, or embroidery thread
* Buttons or beads (optional) for the nose
* Embroidery thread in various colours to suit the felt
* Oddments of wool for the tail

Cut out the pattern, then pin it onto two layers of felt (I cut two at a time, but if your fabric is very thick you may prefer to do one at a time). Cut out two rabbits. Then decide what you want to do for the face (buttons, beads or embroidery for the eyes, a felt or embroidered nose, embroidered whiskers). You may wish to mark it on with a vanishing fabric marker first. Stitch the face - I used 2 strands of emroidery thread for everything, except the nose, where I found it was easier to use 4 strands). When you are happy with the face, pin the rabbit together carefully, wrong sides together. then sew together using oversewing, blanket or running stitch - it's up to you! Finally, you need to make a wee pompom for the tail.

 The easiest way to do this is to wrap some wool around two fingers (don't do this too tightly!), then slip the wool off carefully and tie a strand around the middle, two or three times, tightly.

Snip all the loops and fluff out the pompom, trimming it into a nice round shape. Sew it firmly onto the back of the rabbit. Fluff up, and taa-daa! One cute rabbit ready to keep your breakfast egg nice and warm, while you are spreading Marmite on your toast soldiers, no doubt!

If you make one, do send me a link to your picture!

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Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Time to hang up the mittens?

Although all the snow was beautiful and wonderful, we have been terribly excited to see it creeping away. After three months of looking at a white landscape, we were longing for colour and light. And here it is! The poor garden looks a little crushed and dried out, but with a bit (a lot!) of clearing and raking, I am uncovering all sorts of treasures emerging. It's so GOOD to be out again, woolly mitts exchanged for gardening gloves, breathing in fresh spring air.

And getting the first washes on the line. It's not really warm enough to dry things completely, but just that smell on clothes, well, it's heavenly.

My wellies have gone back into the cupboard and now the garden clogs stand on the mat. 

There's enough light in the morning to make me at least think about getting up for an early morning wander...

Is it time to hang up the mittens and declare spring has arrived?

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Monday, 15 March 2010

A Cosy Mummy is a Happy Mummy

I've been meaning to post something about this coat for a while. I got started on it..oh, about 2 years ago! I bought the tweed - for a bargain five quid - and the pattern (a vintage Vogue) at a sale, thinking that coat making was way beyond my skills, but at the price, it was worth trying. And I was so right, it was horribly difficult, even trying to cut the pieces out, matching up the pattern. Then we decided to move house, so it all got packed away and neglected in a box for 18 months. I must have mentioned something to my mother-in-law, because when she came to visit us last October, she made me pull it out and gave me hope that it might just get finished. She helped me choose the lining and wonderful wooden buttons, and then we got cracking! You can see the pictures here. It was quite an experience, because she doesn't speak English, and I could barely understand the instructions on the pattern, never mind translate them into French for her. My machine whined and complained, but by the time she left, we had got most of it done. You can imagine what happened next...somehow, those odd little hemming and finishing jobs got put off, then it was almost Christmas, then the holidays, and still that unfinished coat was left hanging up in. However, in the freezing weather after New Year, I sat cosily by the fire and finished it off.

And I'm so glad I did, I have worn it and worn it again during this chilly winter, thankful of its length and warmth, and being big enough to snuggle many layers underneath. Merci encore Belle Mere!

I'm not sure I always looked this happy when I was sewing my coat, but this is the beautiful card my beloved and my sons presented me with yesterday. Along with flowers, tea, croissants and kisses. In bed. Cosy and happy.
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Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Hoo Hoo!

You can tell that if I'm not blogging, then I'm probably busy living. Sometimes living is a mad unfocused round of the daily stuff, sometimes it means I'm taking a little time to smell the roses. As it were. Did I mention it has snowed around here? Actually, this has been the wildest winter in 30 years. I haven't seen my grass since the 18th December. Two and half months! Some days it is tiresome, worrisome and a touch chilly. Other days, the sun comes out, it all sparkles gloriously, and we head outside for snacks or a cuppa on the door step. I have even tried cross-country skiing, which is the first time in years (surely not?!). I still fell over a fair bit, but this time round, although it hurt more, I discovered that I no longer care about looking stupid, which has to be a Good Thing.

But all this snow has had me longing for a little green. So it has been a great pleasure working on a recent commission, which has had me raiding the most colourful of my scraps. I was asked to do an owl bag, which is a new thing for me. We do have a lot of owls around here. On a still night you can here them calling out. My youngest used to call them 'Hoo hoos'.

So, here it is, the Hoo Hoo Bag.

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