Posts Tagged ‘holiday’

Making for Someone Else

2014 was my year of selfish sewing. The year before I had been so busy making for others that I felt I didn’t get a really get a chance to try all the new sewing challenges and techniques I wanted. I felt I had become a little bit complacent about crafting in general. 2014 was a different year, I made selfish sewing a priority and crochet too for that matter. I even decided that Christmas I would give myself a break and not make everyone’s gifts. Having said all that I did make two Christmas gifts.

The first was for my sister. She had mentioned to me that she would love a crochet blanket, very bright, a real mixture of colours. Well challenge accepted! I have only ever made smaller crochet projects so this was going to be a big undertaking for me. I started it around Easter time and planned to work on it whenever I had some free time, a nice, relaxing, long term project, or so I thought.

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I underestimated how much time it would take and ended up frantically working on it every spare second I had towards the end! I used a simple granny square block but all the colour changing took a lot of time.

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I joined all the blocks with a cream colour which I think really lifts it and brings it all together.

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Confession time. I don’t have any good photos of it yet as it isn’t completely finished. I was a lazy muppet and didn’t finish the ends as I went so I had to give it to my sister unfinished and then take it back. I’m now still steadily working through all those ends. Worst. Job. Ever.

The only other handmade gift I made was a secret Santa pressie for the Sewing Club Christmas lunch. At sewing club this year we all agreed that the lead up to Christmas would be manic so it would be better for all of us to have a Christmas lunch in January. That way we would all have more time to make our secret Santa pressies and it would give us something to look forward to after all the Christmas excitement.

So a few weeks ago we all rocked up for lunch in our Christmas jumpers (well most of us anyway), my mum even bought us all crackers!

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We all put our handmade gifts into a bag then each took a turn to take one out, lucky dip style. I made this embroidery hoop craft storage which Emmie picked out.

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This was a nice little make for the new year and great for stash busting too. I found some crafty themed fabric in my stash, layered them up to and stitched straight lines at different intervals to make the pockets. I added a simple crochet layer to the embroidery hoop so it matched the fabrics and also so the wooden frame didn’t catch on it. I stretched the fabric layers over the hoop and tightened to secure it in place.

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To make sure the back stayed tidy and didn’t move I overlocked the edges of the fabric layers before putting them in the frame. Once I was happy with the fabric placement and the hoop was tightened I used my glue gun to stick the excess fabric to the inside of the frame. Handy hanging storage finished.

I pulled this cute little pincushion jar made by Annie out of the secret Santa lucky dip. You can never have too many pin cushions!

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My very clever friend Becca made this insanely cute purse, which my mum got.

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Rachel got these handy pattern weights that my mum made. How useful, I really must make some.

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I didn’t get a chance to photograph everyone else’s gifts but they were all equally as awesome. We all enjoyed a lovely lunch catching up and chatting about all things crafty.

Handmade Wardrobe – The Holiday Edition

I don’t know about you but I like my holiday clothes to be easy to pack and wear, I try my best to travel light and I don’t want to spend my valuable holiday time ironing. This summer Hubby, the Monsters and I spent two weeks relaxing in the Red Sea. While on holiday I wanted to wear as much handmade as possible. As you can imagine Egypt was HOT so I wanted light weight items that would also compliment my other clothes. I could never be described as a fashion forward, I love clothes and fashion but with 2 boys in the house I don’t spend much time in heels. I like my clothes to show my personality but at the same time they need to be comfy and easy to transition from day to night. If I’m being really honest I’m a pretty lazy dresser.

After going through my wardrobe I decided I needed a few more dresses and some bikini cover ups. My fabric of choice was definitely Jersey, it just rolls up so tiny for packing and I love to wear it.

Cover ups –

You can’t go wrong with a playsuit. Quick to slip on over a bikini but can just as easily be dressed up for the evening with heels and jewellery.

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The pattern was an old Prima pattern I had from a few years ago, it also had a jumpsuit version which I might make too. The fabric I picked up in Goldhawk road from my favourite shop, Fabric House.

On the same shopping trip I bought two chiffon prints from the famous “man outside Sainsbury’s” in Walthamstow market. I thought they would be great for simple kimonos. I used this tutorial and added cute crochet trims from Fabricland.

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As I chose sheer fabrics I opted for french seams. The main reason I added the trim was because I couldn’t decide how to finish the raw edge. I had originally planned to do a rolled hem using my overlocker but I just couldn’t get it to work properly. It was the first time I’d worked with Chiffon and it wasn’t really my friend, the crochet trim definitely saved me!

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I thought I’d wear these a lot in the day but I ended up wearing them in the evenings with a plain vest and skirt or shorts. I’ve also worn them a lot with jeans since I’ve been home.

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Dresses –

Dresses were a no brainer, I whipped up two Mission maxis, this time minus the maxi.

I kept one short.

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And the second midi.

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Both fabrics were from Fabric House, again. My mission maxi pattern was definitely a good investment, so far I’ve used it to make 3 dresses and a vest, it’s so quick to sew up and fits me perfectly.

How cute do the monsters look in my holiday snaps?!

A Serious Crafty Catch Up

Well hi there, how have you been? I don’t know about you but here at Casa O’Meara we’re all looking forward to the summer holidays, only a few days to go. The down fall to having the monsters at home for 6 weeks is my sewing time gets seriously cut. So before my project progress becomes non-existent I thought I’d share what I’ve been up to.

A few Sundays a go I got to spend a bit of quality time with Monster no1 helping him with his craft homework, he had to make a sea creature of his choice. After trawling the internet he decided on a banded sea snake, we raided my stash of felt and got to work.

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It was great to see him really concentrating and enjoying using the sewing machine. I don’t think I’ve seen him sit still for that long since he started walking! He was so proud of his efforts, he did a brilliant job. I only had to help him sew the curve of the head and to close up the tail.

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As well as homework I’ve been working on my handmade wardrobe. We’ve finally booked our holiday and I’m hoping to have plenty of handmade clothes to take with me. My project list is full of beach cover ups and lightweight easy to pack items. First tick off the to-make list was a quick little upcycle. My t-shirt I love but have sadly shrunk out of (yup that’s right!) was too ridiculously big to wear anymore so thanks to pinterest and my fabric scissors I chopped the sleeves off, changed the neckline and plaited the back.

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Beach cover up done!

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Next on my list – Lace t-shirt
I popped into my local haberdashery and for some reason this coral lace just called out to me, honestly it made me buy it. Next thing you know I’m skipping out the shop with lace and neon binding. I mean it could only end well 🙂

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I already have an old lace t-shirt I bought a few years ago, its cheap but just the right size, so I used that to draught myself a pattern while Monster no2 took a rare nap.

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To finish it off I decided to trim the hemline following the lace pattern, for a cute scallop edge. I love the neon binding and the dropped hem at the back, its little touches like that I like the most on handmade clothes, that’s when you get to really put your personality across.

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My last project to show you for now is a fun little make up bag I made as a gift for a friend, I hope she likes it!

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Meet ups, Milan and The Mortmain Dress

Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet, I promise I have a valid excuse, I’ve been sewing like crazy. I’m so pleased I think I’ve finally got my sewing mojo back! Since I moved last Christmas I’ve found it hard to getting into any kind of routine with my sewing, couldn’t really get my rhythm if you know what I mean. But at last out of nowhere my mojo is back, I just can’t stop sewing.

I’ve got quite a few things to tell you about so expect plenty of posts over the next few weeks.

I thought if start with something fun. A couple of weekends ago my good sewing friend Rachel organised a brilliant meet up for sewing bloggers from all over. We all met at the V&A for coffee, cake and lots of sewing chat. We then had some photos taken of all our amazing handmade items and a group shot of us all, I think on final count there was about 70 of us!

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Photo courtesy of Kitty Wong

We then head off to Goldhawk road for some retail therapy. Although I didn’t end up buying anything I had a great day getting to know the other sewing bloggers and look forward to seeing them soon at another meet up. Unfortunately I spent too much time chatting and not enough time taking photos to share with you guys. Luckily everyone shared their photos of the day on Instagram, Twitter and Flickr using #nylon2014 so you can see what we got up to.

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Everyone’s handmade outfits were amazing! I’d been a little nervous about what to wear, being a bit of a newbie to making my own clothes I thought I would let the side down. I wore my Mortmain by Gather and was so surprised by the lovely compliments I received. I really loved how my dress turned out and plan on making another soon. The fit was just right for me, I didn’t have to make any adjustments. I found the pattern so easy to follow and would definitely recommend it. I love everything about it, especially the exposed zip down the back. As I said earlier I was pretty crap about taking photos, I got none of my dress. Have no fear though I totally took one for the blog and managed to get a couple outside Prada, in Milan. Milan darling!

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Super hubby whisked me off to Milan for a few days of quality time together while the kids spent some quality time with my (also super) mum and sister. It was great to just totally relax, we spent a lot of time drinking Aperolspritz and eating gelato. Perfect. We took a train to Como for the day, which was simply beautiful. A lot of the day was spent just sitting and taking in the scenery, oh and eating gelato.

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There was so much inspiration to be found in the boutique windows. I can’t remember which shop I spotted this in but I just fell in love.

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The Duomo blew my mind. We had planned to take the steps up to the terrace but it was just too hot so we stayed at ground level and took it in from there.

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If you are ever in Milan it is a must see, even though it is incredibly touristy. Just make sure you make the effort to head away from the main square to get something to eat or drink. We stumbled across this amazing gelato shop. The place was heaving but well worth the queue, they fill the cone with liquid chocolate and then pile it high with creamy gelato. I had a white chocolate filled cone and pistachio gelato.

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Heaven!

The only downfall to a quick little get away is the washing when you get home, which is exactly what I have waiting for me right now. If you need me I’ll be wading through a mountain of washing and dreaming of gelato.

My Birthday Week

This time last week I spent the last day of my 20’s in a car stuffed to bursting with kids, dogs, food, drink and plenty of warm clothes. To celebrate my 30th birthday Sean booked for us to spend a week in a cute little barn conversion on a farm in Flamborough with the monsters, my mum and sister. Incase you’re not up on British coastal towns Flamborough is a beautiful place just north of Bridlington, Yorkshire. We were really lucky with our cottage, it was literally a few minutes walk from the edge of the cliff, with amazing views every way you turned.

Now I’m no twitcher but the wildlife was impressive. A few miles away from where we stayed is an RSPB centre which is renowned for its seabirds. We saw hundreds of nesting Gannets, Guillemots and Kittiwakes, as well as several varieties of Gull. The monsters had great fun using binoculars to spot the different birds.

The weather was on our side, bright but pretty windy so we managed to a few local spots.

The lighthouse at Flamborough Head.
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South Landing
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Rock pooling at North Landing
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While we were investigating the caves at north Landing we were lucky enough to spot a pair of Puffins who had set up home in the side of the Cliff, unfortunately I couldn’t get a good photo but I was so excited to have actually seen them!

On my Birthday I was a very spoilt girl. I was woken (super early) by the monsters shouting “Happy Birthday!!” And given a big pile of presents to open. Sean and the monsters gave me some new Hunter wellies I’ve had my eye on.

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Seriously how cool is that bright pink stripe?! I also got a Nike fuelband to help me get my butt in shape and a remote for my DSLR camera. I have to admit the boys did well, I’ve been dropping hints for a while and they got every one. Thank you boys!

My little sister Frankie did a great job of spoiling me too. She secretly got the monsters to write their names and had it made into a silver bracelet.

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She also spotted a few vintage items which she new I would love.

Crochet hooks.
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Some sewing pins and this book.
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Obviously this book was made just for me! My sister found this book by chance for sale on Etsy and just had to get it for me, what’s freaky is I had seen the very same book on Etsy a few weeks ago and considered buying it for myself!

The last present I had to open was from my mum and dad.

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My very own bloody OVERLOCKER!!!! How spoilt am I?! I have the best family ever.

After the excitement of opening all my cards and presents we got ready and took a trip to Scarborough.

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Chips, donuts and candy floss while walking along the sea wall all made turning 30 seem not so bad.

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We finished the day with champagne and a Hello Kitty cake made by my mum.

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All in all turning 30 wasn’t anywhere near as scary as I thought it would be. Oh and you’ll be really pleased to know that since turning 30 I really haven’t grown up. Phew!

A quick Catch up

Hi, hope you are all enjoying a sunny Saturday. I would like to be enjoying the sunshine today but instead I’m packing. We are off on our first family camping trip, I’m a complete newbie to all this but luckily Super Husband is a seasoned pro so we should be ok (I hope!).

I think I nearly have everything sorted, I guess I will know for sure when we get there, Ha! I’ve tried really hard to pack light, something I struggle with, I even managed to cut down to only 4 pairs of shoes including my Wellies 🙂

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This was the state of my bed last night as I was busy cutting down. I eventually managed to get, mine, Sean and the boys clothes all in one bag, just call me the Queen of traveling light lol.

Before I could even think about packing I had to get Monster no1s quilt finished as he was desperate to take it away with him. I’m also entering it into the Quilt Exhibition at the end of the month. It’s made from Aneela Hoey Sherbet pips, with some blue polka dot thrown in too (can’t remember where it’s from sorry) and a yummy Red polka dot binding to finish.

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Here is Go Fetch all finished,

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And the back,

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The quilting, I don’t why but I was thinking about snails when I did this, must have taken inspiration from all the snails we found at the allotment last weekend.

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A very happy Monster no1, don’t you just love a happy customer 🙂

I’m so glad it’s finished, I did enjoy making it but it’s such a nice feeling when you can cross something of your list (I do like a list!). When I get back I have a few days to finish quilting the Country Garden quilt and bind it ready for the exhibition, no pressure then.

I best get the rest of the stuff packed then it’s a camping we will go! Oh before I do that, here’s a quick before and after of our allotment, we all worked so hard last weekend to get it cleared.

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What do you think? (excuse the dodgy panoramic shot but I’m still learning how to use 365 Panoramic app properly.)