From Blossoms to Buttons

yellowdogdaysappleblossom

The apple blossom has finally arrived. With the recent cold snap the trees decided to keep their buds and blossoms under wraps for a little while longer, safer for them but a bit less colour for us!

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Meanwhile I’ve been busy making some boy bunting with the gorgeous pirate themed fabric I found.

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I chose a light blue felt for the letters, the yellow thread of the stitches stands out nicely against it.

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I love all the little details in the fabric design.

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Some buttons add another dash of colour across the top, the blue and white stripes in keeping with the sailor(ish!) theme.

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With little orange buttons just because they’re little orange buttons!

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And there we have it.  A pirate bunting for Captain Alex.  I hope he likes it!

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Remember the stash of lovely buttons I came home with?  Well here’s what I’ve been doing with some of them.  This cute heart is on it’s way to becoming a card to welcome a new baby into the world. But more of that next time…

Stocking Up.

yellowdogdaysLizzie

While dodging the April showers some of us enjoy being rubbed and fussed over…

yellowdogdaysChloeSome of us enjoy curling up on a sunny windowsill…

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And some of us enjoy stocking up on materials!  Isn’t this pirate fabric gorgeous?  I want to make a bunting for a little boy and while fabric suitable for girls is no problem, fun, colourful fabrics for boys can be hard to find.  I spotted the fish design first and loved it. Then along came the pirates.  Perfect.  They’re quirky, cute, bright and will look great as bunting.  I was delighted!

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I love the ships bobbing on the sea and the bright colours of the design overall.  The green and white striped fabric will go nicely with the other two and lighten the colour scheme of the bunting.

yellowdogdaysgirly

I was looking for some girly fabric as well, something fresh and light while not being too pink.  Easy peasy.  Happy bumble bees buzzing around some spring flowers and lilac hearts are just what I wanted.  The green and white stripes will look great with these designs and tie the brother and sister buntings together nicely.

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I didn’t stop at fabric.  I needed some buttons so I got some!

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Lots of buttons!  I have plenty of ideas for this lot.  Time to get started…

Attic Antics

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Don’t you just love attics?  You never know what’s up there, hidden away under a layer of dust and usually long forgotten.  My most recent expedition up into the memory laden loft of my family home proved particularly fruitful.

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Meet my mother.  That’s her holding hands with her mother sometime in the early fifties.  What I found in the attic concerns her.  In a broken, flattened suitcase I came across a whole bunch of papers, photos and greeting cards from her and my Dad’s early life together.

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Also in the suitcase were patterns.  Gorgeous old sewing patterns with chic, wasp-waisted women showing off the smart late fifties/early sixties dresses.

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I like the “7 Day Ensemble” in particular.  It’s a Simplicity pattern, sold for 4/6 in old money, suitable for size 16, bust 36.  These were the days of pounds, shillings and pence; before my time but familiar enough to invoke a certain nostalgia, for what I’m not quite sure.  It says simple to make on the front so I suppose we have to believe what we read!

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I know that my mother would have found it simple enough.  She was great at making clothes and would often buy a pattern and material in the morning and have her new dress made by tea time.  This was as well as raising her family and doing the housework.  I’m afraid my sewing skills are far behind hers.  These patterns are way beyond me at the moment, bunting is about as complicated as it gets!

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I love the accessories of the women on the McCall’s pattern.  Yes, I know they’re only drawings but they’re so stylish!  Gloves, bangles, pearl necklaces and killer handbags.  You couldn’t fail to impress with this look.

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Perhaps I should have a go at bringing one of these patterns to life.  It would be nice to think I’d be making and wearing something that my mother had when she was younger than I am now.  Threads across time…

Sweet Charity.

yellowdogdayswalk

 

The weather is still fine here in Ireland, even if it is very cold.  There are as many hats and scarfs being worn as in the winter months but the sun is shining so nobody is complaining much.  These clear, crisp days are perfect for dog-walking and the beach is a favourite spot for my four-legged friend.  She gets to chase ‘red ball’ and I get to breath some fresh sea air and clear my head.  Perfect.

In a previous post I mentioned my fondness for browsing around second-hand/charity shops. I love looking for hidden gems while knowing that my money is being put to good use helping a charity which needs my couple of euro more than I do.  My latest find is from Ballina, in a shop raising funds for abandoned and neglected horses, where I came across these gorgeous earrings.

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It was the green stones that caught my eye, plus they’re dangly.  I love dangly earrings!

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They have a kind of ethnic chic about them and are very striking when worn.  But what really interested me was the fact that they have screw backs.

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As far as I know this type of screw back for non-pierced ears started to wane in the fifties. This would make my new earrings a little older than I had first thought.  There was another pair in the case alongside them.

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These are a very sweet pair of conventional clip-ons with a lovely light green stone.  They’re much more understated than the first pair, more elegant than ethnic, and they have a certain old-world charm about them.

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The woman in the shop told me that it was a French woman who donated both pairs and that they had been her grandmother’s.  She obviously had no sentimental attachment and so did the right thing by passing them on to a good cause where somebody else could find and appreciate them.  I’m looking forward to giving them a new lease of life and adding another chapter on to their story.  Sometimes charity really does pay.

Soft On The Head!

yellowdogdayswool

It’s still Spring but somebody forgot to inform the weather! The time for our Winter-woolies hasn’t quite passed yet, especially for wee ones.  I love this cold, clear weather, it’s great for brisk walks and it’s even better for knitting!  My trusty wool basket is always on standby so when a friend asked me to knit a hat for her soon-to-be-born baby it was just a matter of choosing the colours.

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I love this Debbie Bliss cashmerino blend wool and use it for all my baby projects.  It’s so silky soft and knits up beautifully, making it perfect for precious baby skin.  I chose light blue, lilac and white for this hat because my friend likes blues and we both thought that these colours would suit either a boy or a girl.  The pattern I follow is also Debbie Bliss, from the book ‘baby cashmerino 2‘; it’s a really sweet little roll-brim beanie that never fails to please.

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The colours come together nicely in stripey stocking stitch.  Only 83 stitches in width, it knits up nice and fast.

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Then the bit I sometimes put off for ages… sewing it all together!

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I use mattress stitch to sew the edges, creating an invisible seam and giving a great finish.  Thinking about doing it is always harder than the fact and once you start it gets easier and easier.

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And finally… it’s finished!

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A gorgeous little beanie, soft and snuggly, for a precious little somebody…

 

Oh Sew Pretty…Part II!

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Last time, I was making the most of the bad weather by sewing a pretty, girly bunting fit for any little princess’s bedroom.  A lack of bias tape meant the finished product had to wait a while but fear not… bias tape and buttons are now on hand to complete my rainy-day project.

After folding the bias tape along the top of my row of flags, I pin it in place.  I enjoy this bit as I now have a good idea what the finished product will look like, how it all hangs together.

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Once the bias has been stitched into place on the machine (less scary this time!) the finish line is in sight.  The bunting looks pretty but the addition of some decorative buttons   make it even prettier.  Some little pink hearts add a nice touch.

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And finally it’s finished!

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A cute ‘Princess’ bunting that will look great in any little girl’s bedroom.

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I think the teddies are happy with it….