mercoledì 9 aprile 2014

A safe place for crochet hooks

Where do you store your crochet hooks?
Have you got a good case for them?
I haven't [*].
But I made one for my shop's customers, eh eh!

Some weeks ago I found a little piece of a sturdy and soft damask, a leftover of a bag I made more than two years ago and I decided to make a case for crochet hooks.

I really like how it came out!!!
Expecially its colours mix (blue and green, so lovely!), its simple shape and the romantic and retro look.

Of course it can be used also as pencil case or to keep all sorts of precious objects.

It's almost 100% made of recycled materials (recycled organic fabric for the lining). There are only two not-recycled things in it: the zipper (vintage, from my family's collection) and my handmade label.
I like to work with this kind of supplies: they allow me not to waste new materials and to help the world.

You can read more about it in my shop's page.

[*] Now I want to make a crochet hooks case for me, but I'm thinking about a crocheted one. My hooks need a safe place (they are into different boxes / bags at the moment and I have always difficulties in finding the proper hook for my works).

martedì 8 aprile 2014

Nautical colours

Did I write I'm currently reading Moby Dick? 
Uhm, probably I didn't.
I know that this novel is a classic for USA and of course it is very well known here in Italy, too, but it's not one of those novels you read at school or similar things. So I haven't read this novel before.
It is so different from how I've imagined it! 
Instead of adventures and dirt life on the sea, I found biblical quotes and philosophy. What a surprise! 
But I'm really enjoying it the same!

Whales and anchors are the protagonists of the evening drawings in my moleskine, because this novel is really inspiring me.
There are some creative projects in my mind and they all are around sea, big fishes and waves. 
So I decided it was the right time to finish a t-shirt with nautical colours (white, red, blue) I've abandoned two years ago.
I was in love with that knitted fabric, but something went wrong while I was making it and I was so scared about wasting it that I left the project unfinished.

But now, after some adjustements (I've added the sleeves and a white band to the neck and the sleeves) it's finished.
And I like it!!!

It's still to cold to wear it alone, even here in Sicily. But it will be perfect this summer, with a pair of dark blue jeans or a light blue capri pants.
Very happy about this tee.

I love nautical colors. They are simple and classic, but not boring.
There are some other unfinished projects (crochet!) on my desk which are in the same colours right now:

I like to explore new themes in my creative journey.
And you?

lunedì 31 marzo 2014

Burda disappointment + adjustements = uhm, it's ok

Recently I've started some new sewing projects for me and of course they include some new clothes for spring and summer, because I like fresh skirts and t-shirts and blouses of all sorts.
I decided to test a Burda pattern on a knitted fabric I've bought at the outdoor market (mum has the same fabric, but in different colors). 
The pattern is the bluse n. 140 in the issue august 2013 of italian Burda style (plus size section). I was in love for the knotted neck.
I've measured my body with attention to cut the right size, but when I've finished to sew the most important part of the blouse I got this boxy, large and too long thing:

Uhm :/
You can see by the neckline that it's my size, but the model is really bad and it's really wrong for curvy people like me. We don't need clothes that add volume to our body, if you don't want to look like Homer Simpson in his obese phase.

So, after some days of nervous disappointment, I decided to make some adjustments.
I've shortened (a lot!!!) the blouse and its sleeves. I've also modeled the waist line on my body.
This is the final result:

Uhm, nothing special. But now it's ok. It works.
I think I'll wear it in some elegant occasions during spring and summer. Or at work (I'm going to start a new experience as a teacher next april).

I'm happy to have tested this pattern on this fabric: I don't like it too much, so I'm not desperate about wasting it on this project. I've been lucky (wise?) enough to save my favourite fabrics for other projects. And I'll make a muslin before!!! Lesson learned!

DIY clothes I'm working on:
- a long sleeves t-shirt: knitted fabric, raglan sleeves and flowers
- a black&green skirt: the fabric is a bit small, I think I can make only an a-line shirt
- something like this (isn't it clever and cute?)
- a long tunic/shirt to wear with leggins
I've also to finish some projects I've abandoned last summer.

And you? Have you got some projects for your spring/summer otufits?

lunedì 24 marzo 2014

Sewing with very tiny fabric scraps: bows for hair!

I'm a crazy scraps saver!
I can save tiny scraps of fabrics for years, waiting for a great idea for them. 
Many boxes filled of squares of beautiful fabrics fill my drawers and, you know, this can be a problem sometime! :)
So I try to use them here and there.

Recently I worked with some very tiny pieces of fabrics (samples) I received as a gift some time ago. They are cm 7x5 more or less (in. 2,5 x 2)... normal people woud throw them away, but I like so much their colours and pattern that I can't.
I made hair accessories instead! :)
Bows with elastics fixed on the back: ponytail holders, 100% made by sewing (no glues!).

They are:
- a rustic bow in earth tones:

- a set of three tartan bows in black and white + turquoise/green/lilac:

- a set of two polka dots bows, so funny:

- a set of two turquoise bows with floral pattern:

My favourite are the brown one and the polka dots set!

I like to make fabric bows! 
I made some in the past, for Xmas decorations or to be fixed on brochees. I've also written a tutorial: you can follow its instructions if you want to make some bows for you.
This time the scraps were too small to make the bows as shown in my tutorial; they are more simple in their shapes, but beautiful the same! :) 

Follow the link to go to my shop's pages and have more infos about these ponytail holders (and buy a set of two if you like).

venerdì 21 marzo 2014

Two new rustic bags for spring

Spring has officially started!!! :)
Here in Sicily it's warm and sunny, after some weeks of bad weather I spent sewing new things for the shop.
Today I want to show you two bags I realized with a sturdy cotton fabric with a simple and funny floral pattern, printed on cream background.
They are quite big and roomy, with a rustic style, perfect for spring adventures!

The first bag I made is this one:

Design by ("Melody bag"), pattern available on their website, but also on Etsy
I tested this pattern, new to me, making this bag and it works very well, like all the patterns of this company I've used before.

The things I like most of this bag are:
- the circular bottom and its pleates:

- the elastic pockets inside (so roomy!!!):

- Some details like the closure (vintage wooden button + cord):

I've uploaded this bag in my shop; it's listed as a bucket bag or a satchel, because it's shape it's particular and it's different from the flat totes I use to sew.

Making this bag required a lot of fabric, but some of it left and I decided to use it to make another shoulder bag:

100% designed and made by me.
It's a simple tote with some pleates on top and a pocket inside (closed by a metallic snap):

It's large and leightweight. You can find it here.
Probably I like best this tote, although Melody bag has a lovely design, too.

Recently I'm also working on some projects which involve the use of very tiny scraps of fabrics. Are you interested?

venerdì 14 marzo 2014

Using my stamps: handmade stickers

I'm in love with carving stamps with my hands.
I love the idea of making little tools which allow you to repeat your "works of art" without limits. 
But, to be honest, I rarely use my stamps in very creative ways. I used to decorate pages and envelopes with them and anything else.
This happened till last wednesday, when a simple but funny idea knocked to my brain: stickers made with my stamps! 
Uh, sounds good!
I picked up some ready adhesive labels (not sure about their name in english) and started to decorate them with my stamps.

Then I cut around them with my scissors and ... ta-daaah!!! I got cute and unique stickers! :)

A very easy and quick project to fill some minutes with!
I want to use my stickers to close envelopes and decorate cards. 
I made some foxes, swordfishes, leaves, birds, stars and red hearts. But I also have other animals (+ a dino!) to play with in the future.

As usual I tested the final product on my moleskine journal, adding also the date with the date stamp S. gave me last october:

This experiment gave me some happy moments and now I'm looking for other creative ways to use hand-carved stamps.
If you have some suggestions, please, leave a comment!

[Sorry for the bad quality of the photos in this post. Artificial light doesn't help!]

giovedì 13 marzo 2014

Simply delicious

I'm ejnoying some quite "at home time".
Making all sort of things, baking bread included.
Home-made bread is delicious. Simple, traditional and tasty.
Yum yum :)

I've prepared some bread with olives and some other without.

Cooking is a creative activity for me. 
You pick up your ingredients, like you do with your art&craft supplies, mix them together (following a plan or improvising) and then you have something new which didn't exixt before your creative act!

And you can eat them with your family and friends! Isn't it great?