Saturday, 27 February 2010

And the winner is...

The Random Number Generator has spoken, and it said the winner is: Comment number 4!

Bean Mum said... 'This is a lovely bag! Well done, i'm usless at doing anything without diagrams so fair play to you!'

Thanks to everyone who commented :)

Fambily Pickled Weasel have just returned from a very relaxing week at Centre Parcs. It did feel a little bit like living in a shopping centre in the middle of some woods (do they really need 3 Starbucks?) but we had fun none the less. I did Pilates and some sort of evil torture called Flexi-Ball, and have become very aware of my 'core' muscles. They still hurt when I cough.

Munchkin learnt lots of new words, figured out how to use a straw, and jumped in muddy puddles a la Peppa Pig. We went to the Pancake House too many times. Happy days :)

Friday, 19 February 2010

Big Little Bag Giveaway

Yet another bag. And yes, it's from One Yard Wonders. How did you guess? :)

This is the Petite Diaper Tote, and it's not quite what I was expecting. Mainly because there's only one photo of it in the book, and it's pictured with the change mat unfolded, so you don't really get to see what the bag itself looks like.

Even worse, there are very few diagrams to accompany the instructions, so it was a bit of a pig to put together. They're currently looking for contributors to the next edition, and I seriously hope they improve the format, cause it's made me tear at my already thinning hair with every project I've completed.

Anyhoo, this was meant to be a present for a friend, and although it's turned out beautifully, because it isn't quite the animal I thought it was I've decided to make her something else. I thought the change pad folded up into the bag, rather than outside of it, and I thought there was a flap to go over the top rather than it being open with a tab to close it. Where I got these ideas from, I don't know :)

So I'm giving it away to one of you lovely lovely people. It'd be a great little bag to pop in the bottom of your pushchair or leave in the boot of the car for nappy emergencies. It'll comfortably fit a packet of baby wipes, a couple of disposable nappies (or one cloth one) and a snack and a beaker. It's the sort of thing that you should aim for when you're going through that 'I want to get back to using a normal handbag but I still need to carry a bit of baby gubbins around' transitional stage. I'm happy to send it anywhere in the world, so international peeps are welcome to enter.

All you need to do is post a comment below telling me... well, telling me anything really. I don't mind what you say, as long as it's not too rude :) Just say hello if you're not feeling very prosey. Or just put 'I want your bag please'. Whatevs. And I know it can be a bit of a pain to comment in Blogger sometimes, so if you want to enter by email you can, just drop a line to

You've got ages to enter because I'm away next week, so I'll draw a winner on Saturday the 27th of February. Good luck!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Sweet Dreams

Sleep. Mmmmmmmm, sleeeeeeeep...... I don't get nearly enough of it. And it's not Munchkin's fault, she normally sleeps through from 7.30pm to round about 6.30am, although she does sometimes wake once in the wee hours. But I can't bring myself to go to bed at 10pm like I know I should. Sleep just feels like wasted craft time :)

I resent sleeping when I could be sewing. So I end up going to bed around 11.30 ish, normally closer to 12, and 6 hours sleep really isn't enough for me. The consequences? For the past few weeks I've craving sugar and fat big time. I think my energy reserves are so low my body just keeps putting in requests for emergency power supplies so I don't fall over. The results aren't yet visible on my hips, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time :(

So I'm trying to go to bed earlier in an effort to feel a bit healthier and stop stuffing my face with junk. I think it would help if someone made me a blanket like this. It's for my niece, who's nearly 6 months old (doesn't time fly?). The blanket was from a bargain shop that sells offcuts of fabric and household lineny things - towels, sheets, that sort of thing. It was only £1.50, but it's quite good quality, nice and soft and snuggly. I raided my scraps bag and found some bits of pink for applique, and then printed off the letters to use as a template. I used the font Franklin Gothic Heavy, which is perfect as it's nice and blocky and has no fiddly bits to sew around :)

We're seeing some of the pickledweasel clan next week for four lovely days of relaxation at Centre Parcs, so I'll be able to give it to Juliet then. Munchkin is very much looking forward to it, although the last time she saw her cousin she spent rather a large amount of time determinedly trying to take Juliet's tights off, so I hope she'll find a better way of interacting with her :)

P.S. Apologies for the grim green back yard in the top photos. As it's always raining in Lancashire our paving stones develop a lovely slimey texture, and despite scrubbing with a bristly broom I can't seem to get them back to grey again. But frankly, there are more important things in life to care about, and I'm too tired to do anything about it anyway :)

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Faffy Folklore Bag

This is my second project from One Yard Wonders, and it's a birthday present for my brother's girlfriend. The fabric was from Ikea, and it was 99p a metre, like the stuff I used for the messenger bag. The print on it is huuuuge, and I wasted quite a lot of fabric because I wanted specific bits of the pattern for the front and back, and just plain cream for the bands at the top of the bag, but at 99p a metre I really don't care :)

(warning - this is a long faffy explanation. For the short version, skip down to the sentence marked *) Things were going fine until I came to join the top band to the lining - you sew the exterior panels together and attach a top band, and then you sew the lining panels together and attach a top band, and then sew them altogether with the straps sandwiched in between, if that makes sense. The lining pattern piece was slightly smaller than the exterior pattern piece, but you used the same top band pattern piece for inside and out. So when I came to join the lining to the top band, the band was too big. So I had to make it smaller. But then when I came to join the inside to the outside, the bands didn't match. So I had to put an ugly great pleat in the band on each side of the bag :( Pah!

I've since found out there are corrections to the pattern on the publisher's website. The pleats on the exterior have been widened, so that presumably when you sew them they make the inside and outside the same width. Although this would mean the top bands would still be too big, but at least you could make them smaller and then everything would be the same size. Confused? All you really need to know is:

*It went wrong but now I know how to fix it the next time I make it. And I will make it again, it's a lovely bag. I stuffed it full of organic chocolate and a cute purse I bought from Spunky, and posted it a couple of days ago, so the birthday girl should have it by now :) And I've posted my pics up on Finny and AfricanKelli's One Yard Wonders Sew Along group on Flickr - the bag is their project for Feb. Right, on to the next project! I have no idea what's wrong with me this month, I have been ridiculously productive...

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Crafting for mr pickledweasel

I don't get many opportunities to craft for my man. He let me knit him a hat for Christmas (using this pattern, which was nice and easy and helped me lose my double pointed needle virginity. Oo-er), and he even wears it! But I haven't been able to make anything else for him.

Until the other day, when he put in a custom order. Do you know what this is?

No, it's not a 70's replica denim and sheepskin wallet. No, it's not a covered note-book to write down brilliant ideas that will revolutionise the world and end our financial woes (which he has on a regular basis. The last one was something about putting algae in the sea to end global warming, and the one before that was to open a chocolatiers. Fortunately they are never pursued :)

It's a fly wallet, of course! He's still tying flies to catch fishies with, and this is a little wallet he can store them in when he goes out fishing. The inside is fleece, although really it should be sheepskin but my budget doesn't quite stretch that far :) The outside is recycled denim jacket backed with interfacing to make it nice and sturdy. My sewing machine cried a bit when it had to sew through the seams with lots of layers, but I promised I'd only sew using quilting weight cotton for the next week and it forgave me.
I really had to resist the impulse to applique / stamp / embroider the front :)

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Crafting with Munchkins - Scrappy be-jewelled trinket box

This is something me and Munchkin did when we were stuck at home in the snow. Munchkin has about a squillion hairclips, and the little tin I used to keep them in was getting a bit full. We bought her some new shoes in between Christmas and new year, and the box they came in was a perfect size for decorating. The rest of the stuff was things I already had - fabric from my scraps bag, some felt and some cabochon jewelly things that I didn't really know what to do with.

You will need:
  • A box with a lid

  • Scraps of fabric, long enough to go over the top of your box

  • Scissors

  • Glue - pva is probably best

  • Felt

  • A marker pen

  • A sparkly jewel

  • A munchkin

Cut your fabric into long strips so that they will go across the width of your box lid. Mine were about an inch wide, and I used pinking shears to make them look a bit prettier :) If your munchkin is big enough they can do this themselves, but I pre-cut mine.

Stick your strips across your lid. Munchkin chose which ones she liked and then we stuck them on together but if you're a control freak if you'd like your box to be very tasteful you could just give your munchkin a selection of nicely co-ordinated strips and let them chose what order to stick them in.

Trim the sides of the box lid so that the strips are all neat.

Stick some strips on the two short ends of the lid so the whole lid is covered. At this point you could leave it as a nice, tasteful box. OR you could bling it up a bit :)

Put your Munchkin's hand on some felt and draw around it with a marker pen. This was the most difficult part of the whole thing, and as you can see from the photo, it took several attempts :)

Cut out the hand shape, and stick it on to your lid.

Stick your jewel on to a felt finger. You're done! Fill the box with hairclips / treasure / tiaras / priceless plastic jewellery.