Showing posts with label sewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sewing. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 15

My Rag Doll Blog Hop + Giveaway

Today I'm very pleased to introduce you to a lovely new book called My Rag Doll.* My Rag Doll is written by Corinne Crasbercu. Corinne is author of Everything Patchwork (part of the 'Made in France' series), has a background in dressmaking and worked as a costumer for film and tv. All that experience in sewing and dressmaking, combined with a wonderful attention to detail has come together beautifully in this book.

The photography, the projects and the materials used have a clean and timeless feel to them. I'm particularly partial to the simple, classic look of the materials used throughout the book: dots, gingham, stripes and pretty florals. However I can imagine these projects would look fabulous when made in other styles of fabric as well. One of my favourite items from the book is this Kimono-style dress. I wouldn't mind wearing that myself (in a bigger size obviously)!

As you can tell from the photos the attention to detail is amazing. Each doll is styled and dressed to perfection. There are instructions for  bags, wands, tiny cupcakes, hair clips, a tiny teddy and much more. Just look at the outfit and accessories for a 'Little Red' Style doll:

I read through various pattern descriptions in the book and I do think it's an advantage if you have a little sewing experience when you take on projects from the book. There's no separate sewing technique section in the book or added visual 'help' in the instructions. Not that the projects are incredibly complicated but it does help if you know about the grain of fabric, seam allowances, or how to handle notches for example.

To sew (and sometimes knit) the projects you work from descriptions and use the patterns which you can find in the large pattern section in the back of the book. You will need to enlarge the patterns to get them to the right size.

There are 11 different 'types' of doll you can make from one basic doll pattern including a ballerina, fairies and the 'outdoor' type you see pictured above. Their faces, hair, clothes and additional items give each doll a different look. Obviously you can choose and mix elements from different dolls to create your own unique doll. It would make a fabulous gift for a small girl (or perhaps a boy although there are no specific boy patterns in the book) especially when you adapt the doll to their style with some serious doll couture. :)

If you'd like a chance to win a copy of this book (of course you do!), then please leave a comment on this post before 12 AM, 22nd of April (Amsterdam time) Thank you for reading this post. Comments are closed, winner will be announced on this blog on the 23rd of April and tell me who you would like to sew one of these dolls for and how would you style it?

The winner will be chosen at random and announced here on the blog on the 23rd of April. Please make sure to check the announcement and/or leave your e-mail address in your comment (or some kind of trail that leads to it) so I can contact you if you are the lucky winner. If I can't find you I'll choose a new winner. Good luck everyone!

You can find more information about the book here. For previous and future 'hops' with more reviews and giveaways, please visit the following blogs:
Sun 13th - Kestrel Makes
Mon 14th - Dolls and Daydreams
Tue 15th - my blog!
Wed 16th - Whipstitch
Thu 17th - A Spoonful of Sugar
Fri 18th - Feeling Stitchy
Sat 19th - House of Pinheiro
Sun 20th - A Stitching Odyssey
Mon 21st - iCandy Handmade
Tues 22nd - Shimelle
Wed 23rd - Heather Bailey
Thu 24th - Emma Lamb

My Rag Doll is now available for pre-order.

*I received a PDF version of the book for review, as always everything I write here is my own opinion.

Friday, January 3

Sewing with Triangles


Happy New Year everyone!

I probably should have called this post 'Sewing with 60 degree Triangles with one Flattened Point' but that isn't quite as catchy as Sewing with Triangles (which to me sounds a bit like Dances with Wolves except it isn't quite as dramatic) 

So I treated myself to a new quilt ruler recently called Hexn'more designed by Julie of Jaybird Quilts with which you can cut Hexagons, Jewels and...Triangles! I saw some really neat triangle quilts on Flickr and Pinterest and as I ordered a Low volume Fat Quarter bundle alongside my ruler  I thought I would have a go at making a Low Volume Triangle Quilt! 


Now the new ruler did have a leaflet explaining how to cut fabric using the ruler and how to sew together different shapes but I couldn't find information on how to simply sew two (or more) triangles. The triangles have two pointy and one flattened 'point' which was where I got confused. (I get confused easily with quilting stuff). A call out on Twitter and googling didn't help but I figured it out eventually. It's very likely that for most people it is obvious how to sew triangles with a flattened point together and I know it isn't exactly rocket science but I'm posting this tutorial anyway as I assume there are people out there who, like me, are easily confused and because sewing triangles is perfect for beginners and the following might be helpful too, even if you are sewing with 'regular' triangles (which is even easier!) 


So you start with two triangles with each two pointy points and one flattened point.


You put them right (pretty) sides together (on the photo you see the back of one of the triangles) and sew with a 1/4 of an inch seam allowance


Fold open and press. Then put your next fabric triangle on top of the previous one, again right sides together.


This time you make sure the pointy points of the second and third triangle match.


And so on and so forth...


The sewn together triangles should look something like this when you are done. The overlapping bit will disappear into the seam allowance when you sew your rows of triangles together! 

I hope this was helpful! I'm making a huge bed throw using my Fat Quarter bundle of Low Volume Fat quarters, scraps, long time fabric stash dwelling fabrics and even (the dotty fabric you see above)  an old duvet cover. My triangles are 4,5" high (measured from base till point). I will keep you up to date with the progress. :) 

Monday, December 16

Books reviewed in 2013


Today I bring you an overview of the books (and the odd pattern) I reviewed or discussed on my blog in the past year. There's still time to add a book or two to your wish list, right? It's predominantly embroidery but there are some sewing pattern/book reviews too and in some books the two are combined. :)  The links will take you to the original blog posts were you'll find more details.

Doodle Stitching: Embroidery & Beyond by Aimee Ray

Blackwork by Beck Hogg

Staple Dress (PDF pattern) by April Rhodes

Stitched in Scandinavia by Karin Holmberg

Stuffed Animals by Abby Glassenberg

Storyland Cross Stitch by What Delilah Did

Stitched Blooms by Carina Envoldsen-Harris

Sew & Stitch Embroidery by Alyssa Thomas

Hoop-la by Kirsty Neale

Pretty Little London (PDF cross stitch pattern) by Jody Rice of Satsuma Street

I'm looking forward to bring you more reviews in 2014!

Friday, July 12

The Hedgehog and the Skirt

"The Hedgehog and the Skirt" sounds a bit like an odd Fairy tale doesn't it? This post is actually about two items I recently finished: a Hedgehog and a Skirt! I often show progress pictures of my embroideries and sewing but sometimes forget to share things I finished on my blog. I made the skirt with a lovely 50's inspired fabric, designed by Jenn Ski. I bought enough fabric to make a second Staple Dress but on second thought made a super easy to sew skirt with an elasticated waist. I followed the instructions from a book called 'Sew What! Skirts' (which I have had for years and had only made one skirt from) and added a rather cute pocket.

Another project that had been in progress for a looooong time was my Pindsvin soft toy.  For those who don't know Pindsvin: he's a character from one of my Embroidery patterns (one I need to update soon) a brave, Danish Hedgehog who travels the Seven Seas in his teacup.

I based Pindsvin on a pattern in Hillary Lang's book Wee Wonderfuls. 24 Dolls to Sew and Love  The pattern was actually for a bear but I wanted a Hedgehog. So I added quills, lowered the ears, enlarged the nuzzle and in the process accidentally sewed his limbs on in the wrong direction et voila: a rather sweet Danish Hedgehog! Julie knitted his gorgeous scarf and I think I'll make him a little blanket from a leftover quilt block or something. Not soon though as I'm busy preparing for my Sewing Retreat in London next week!

Sunday, June 30


Hello fellow Fat Quarterly Retreaters! I'm very much looking forward to meeting you all in London in a couple of weeks time. My name is Nicole & I look like this (on a good day):

I live in Rotterdam (the Netherlands) with my husband, 2 daughters and 2 cats. Come say hi if you see me at the Retreat, I am very shy but love to talk to fellow crafters. I'm hoping to have some time between classes to sit down with a little embroidery project or something and chat about fabric and floss or books (find me on Goodreads!) It's possible I have met quite a few of you at last year's retreat but for some reason I am not very good at remembering names and faces. Or sometimes I know your blog's name or Twitter alias but not your real name etc etc. I apologize in advance!

During school hours and in the evening I make and sell embroideries and embroidery and craft patterns under the name 'Follow the White Bunny'.  I especially like to stitch furry (mostly woodland) creatures like this Tiny Sailor Fox.

Or this Tap dancing Polar Bear:

Feel free to ask me about my embroidery techniques or something if you this is something that interests you!

Besides embroidering I also like to sew (clothes, bags, pillows etc) and quilt. I started sewing 6 years ago and although my sewing, piecing and quilting skills have dramatically improved over the years I still consider myself a 'beginner'.

At the Retreat I will be attending Kerry's 'PJ pants' class. Apparently it's a class about making your own PJ pants, not sitting around in your PJ pants (something I'm very good at!) Still need to buy fabric for that class.

For Brioni's Cathedral windows class I selected these fabrics:

I will also be carving stamps with Tacha and hopefully improving my EPP skills in Katy's Triangle City class!

Last year I had such a great time at the retreat and I'm very excited to be there again this year. :)

Monday, May 20

Me and the Staple Dress

In the last few weeks I saw lots of Staple dresses pop up on crafty blogs I read. I have never made a dress before but this dress looked so versatile and it seemed to me that it would be quite easy to make as well.  I bought  the PDF pattern (design by April Rhodes), a couple of yards of fabric and other notions from a local store and started sewing... Well not quite, I first printed the PDF out on the wrong scale (entirely my fault not the pattern!) After that I had to stick 24 printed pages together to make the pattern. Which quite honestly is the only downside to this pattern. The pattern is well written and if you read the instructions carefully you can hardly go wrong with it. There are two versions (both in the same pattern) one for a 'dropped' hem (longer on the back) and one for a straight hem (which I made). I also think that the finish is really lovely with the French seams (which hide the raw fabric edges so you don't have to zig-zag or whatever).

I took my measurements to figure out what size I should make. As my measurements translated into two different sizes for the top and the lower half of the dress I wimped out and chose the Medium size. The patterned fabric, a soft light weight cotton, was especially selected for it's capability to hide mistakes that I assumed would be made. It was a bit confusing (to me at least) that I couldn't tell the 'right' side from the 'wrong' side of the fabric. This resulted in my first mistake: sewing the side seams together the wrong way. I think I even already had made a neat French seam on one side when I realised my mistake. With this fabric making the French seams was a bit of a nightmare anyway as it was hard to press open 1/8" seams.

Adding the neck facing turned out to be the most difficult part of the process for me. The first facing I had cut and tried to sew on really didn't fit so I cut another one on the bias to give it a bit more stretch. I then finished by top stitching on the wrong side (as you do..) It's hardly noticeable though so I'm not too bothered about it.

Beforehand I thought the biggest challenge would be adding the shirring in the waist. I bought elastic thread which you must wind loosely on the bobbin by hand. I tested it and there was no gathering of the fabric at all. In the end (tip from the pattern, apparently it varies per machine) I wound it on the bobbin really tight. Tested it, it was fine. Did the shirring on the dress and it hadn't gathered at all. I then wound the elastic thread on the bobbin extra, extra tight and simply added another shirring line 1/4" above the first non-gathered line and it worked so well!

I'm really happy with my Staple Dress and I'm glad to have learned a few new skills like making French seams and shirring. I also learned that pressing your fabric throughout the process is really important. Can't wait to make another Staple Dress! You can buy the pattern here and find more examples of the dress here.

Monday, March 4

Crafty books

These are some of the Embroidery books I own.  As you can see I like to use floss to bookmark interesting pages. :)  My birthday is coming up in a month and I wouldn't mind adding a few good books to my 'library' so if you have any good tips please let me know! I'm especially looking for books with stitches and techniques, not so much books with patterns or projects (because I generally make my own). Tips for awesome quilting or sewing books are welcome too. Thanks!

Thursday, November 8

Pattern Parade: Mostly Marvelous Ms Rabbit Sewing Pattern Giveaway

Have you met the Mostly Marvelous Ms. Rabbit yet? No? Well then it's about time you did! This fabulous Ms. Rabbit Sewing Pattern is designed by my friend Annie. Annie has a lovely blog named  Bird and Little Bird  and makes an inspiring e-zine called Alphabet Glue  (if you & your kids love books and reading related activities you must check Alphabet Glue out!)

I had the pleasure of making Ms. Rabbit's pal the Semi-Fantastic Mr. Fox a while ago (see photo below) and it was so much fun! The instructions were very easy to follow so you will not need any previous 'plush' making experience.

It's quite possible you don't want to stop at just one rabbit either....

If you want a chance to win this Mostly Marvelous Ms. Rabbit PDF Sewing Pattern, leave a comment on this blog post and tell me what the name of your favourite plush toy was (or is!). Mine was a teddy bear called Lappie which means something like 'small cloth'  :)

Again, be sure to leave an e-mail address or some kind of trail so I'll be able to find you. Giveaway ends this Monday the 12th of November at noon, Central European Time. Good luck everyone! Comments are closed, winner will be announced later today! 

Sunday, February 19


As Luna is about to lose her first milk tooth, we started a project together to make a small Tooth Fairy bag. I cut the fabrics, Luna (with a little guidance) does the sewing on her mini Janome.  I told Luna she could rummage through my scrap baskets and stash with smaller pieces to select fabrics for the bag. She loves novelty fabrics and bright prints and put together an interesting set of fabrics. :)  I cut a 'tooth' from white felt and in a later stage I will  embroider some eyes and a mouth on it so it will look a little like the lovely Ickle & Lardee, stars of the wonderful My Milk Toof blog.

Monday, July 4

Something for the couch

Yesterday I made a new cushion cover for one of the couch cushions and I think it turned out fairly well. I'm not brilliant at making cushion covers as you can probably tell from the photo. I always make them slightly too big so my cushions always suffer from 'empty corners syndrome'. I also don't measure anything. Because I often think cushion covers  just made from regular quilting fabrics are a bit  floppy I quilted the top of this one. It now feels firmer but soft at the same time. The cushion is also a try out for a colour scheme I had in mind for a quilt later this year (or maybe even next year?) It's a mix of newer fabrics and stash fabrics in grey, black/white and red shades.

P.S. Many thanks to all the sweet replies to my last post!

Wednesday, November 24

Free Scrappy Owl Ornament Pattern!

I made a free Scrappy Owl Pattern today for you all to enjoy.  If you want to put a link on your blog please do so but link to this blog post not directly to the download link. Thank you! You can download the Scrappy Owl Pattern here.

I hope your owls will turn out slightly better than mine. I was just playing with some felt and trying stuff when suddenly this owl was 'born'! It's an easy & quick project so there's no excuse not have a Scrappy Owl in your tree this year. Would make a cute tag or bookmark too by the way.... Or how about a Snowy Scrappy Owl for Harry Potter fans? Of course I'd love to see your Scrappy Owls! Please post them in the Follow the White Bunny Flickr Group or on my Facebook Fanpage!

Sunday, June 20

Sunday Stash #31 Far Far Away 2 & a sewing machine question

Last week a lovely bundle of fat quarters with some of the latest Heather Ross fabrics arrived. I think these three are my favourites: The Owl and Pussycat, Thumbelina and fabric featuring a Moon and Stars. I wonder why these Heather Ross fabrics are not made available in 'normal' quilters cotton instead of linen (this line) or double-gauze (Far Far Away one) but maybe that is just me.

Moving on to the Sewing Machine Question. In the near future I would like to 'upgrade' my sewing machine. Currently I have an electronic Husqvarna  Huskystar E20. A beginners machine which did a fabulous job thus far but I think I want something a bit fancier now. I want to use it to make (simple) clothing, cushions and quilts and such. I would love it have a little more space between machine and needle to push those bulky quilts through.
Please let me know what machine you use and/or prefer! Also I'm slightly afraid of computerised sewing machines but maybe you can talk me out of that (or not). :)

Sunday, September 6

Sunday stash # 15 Ribbons & trims

Here are a few ribbons from my stash. Among them are the ribbons I bought last week when I was in the tiny store in Amsterdam with the huge collection of trims, tassels etc. I also received a couple of extremely cute ribbons in swaps. I rarely use ribbons when I sew. Partly because I'm not sure what to do with them and also because I find it hard to part with some of them and would rather keep them safely in their glass jars. :) 
What do you use your ribbons and trims for?

Friday, July 31

Finished dress and Alice pattern news

I finished Luna's dress yesterday evening. I managed to sew the bias tape properly on and the dress was all done in no time. Sadly Luna refused to wear it this morning :/ So... we quickly move over to happy embroidery news!

After I had put my Alice in Wonderland Rabbit in the shop and my own version of the pattern on Flickr, several people asked me if I was going to make more Alice in Wonderland patterns. Well, I'm working on my second one now! It'll be a pattern of Alice and the Caterpillar. I would give you a sneak peek but it's too dark to take a proper photo now so that will have to wait. Speaking of Alice and sneak peeks...have you all seen the awesome trailer of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland? I'm so looking forward to this movie. I love all Tim Burton films. This one features Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter and Stephen Fry will voice the Cheshire Cat. Can't wait! See the trailer here.
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Thursday, July 30

Summer dress WIP

I really wanted to start sewing again and preferably on a quick and easy project so yesterday I started on a summer dress for Luna from one of my Sew Hip! magazines I mentioned earlier this week. The pattern is by Oliver + S.

The pink fabric is a cute but rather hysterical Michael Miller print featuring Parisian cats. I bought over 3 yards (maybe even more) of this fabric on Ebay when I just started sewing because it was so crazy cheap. Same goes for the green gingham (which actually is meant to line curtains I think). I've made some really wonky trousers for Luna with the same fabric combo last year and she loved them so much I decided to use the same fabrics again.

The dress is super-easy to make and I'm now in the process of putting the bias tape on, which is the most tricky bit of the whole project. Somehow all my previous attempts at putting bias tape on stuff were not too succesful, especially the store-bought bias tape. I made this bias tape myself though, cutting diagonal strips from a large piece of fabric. It seams like a bit of a waste of fabric, but it feels so much better than the ready made bias tape!