New Year’s Dog!

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Not my scheduled, first make of the new year, but much though I love living in an old, Victorian house, at this time of the year it’s flipplin’ freezing! We also put new floor boards in recently, which are great, but have resulted in a wider gap all around the bottom of our front door…

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I spent a good hour or so searching through old, sewing magazines, thinking this was exactly the type of random pattern they feature, but sadly to no avail. I always enjoy flicking through them anyway, so it was no great loss: you always find inspiration from something you’d instantly dismissed the first time around. Anyway, the very next morning the new issue of Love Sewing magazine arrived on my doorstep featuring a scrappy dog draft excluder: perfect!

To be honest, I probably could have drafted my own version, but the template outline was really useful. My drawing skills really aren’t up to much.

I increased the length to accommodate our rather portly, front door. I also wanted it to attach to the door, so that it didn’t come away every time the door was opened or closed (despite my best efforts I’ve never managed to train my children, or husband (!), to replace it afterwards). So, using some furniture (I think) trimming I found in a charity shop a while back, I attached two Champagne corks (thank you New Year’s Eve) to hook it under. Granted, the corks look a little odd from the outside, but it’s a Winter fix, so it won’t be permanent, and I didn’t want to use anything that would scratch the new boards.

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I managed to make it entirely from my stash, so even though it wasn’t planned, I could justify it πŸ™‚ The fabric was something I bought when I first started sewing, intending (as you do) to make some ridiculously, complicated bag out of it. It was too small for clothing, hence it didn’t get used up in my recent stash-diet. I had a little toy stuffing left over from one of my daughter’s craft kits, so I used this to stuff the ears and trickier parts of the legs. The rest was stuffed with various old tights and socks (of course all clean) which made the entire family do a quick sock drawer sort-out to boot πŸ™‚

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My children have named her Sally (the sausage dog). My daughter rightfully pointed out to my son that sausage dogs can be girls too πŸ™‚

Oh, and a couple of you requested a photograph of my Christmas table runner in action. Here she is, just before the food went out πŸ™‚

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Mamma Mia, Here I Go Again…

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She’s only gone and made another! I was so pleased with my last Coco Top, that I cracked straight on with my second. My fabric, as usual, came from Leon’s in Chorlton. Not quite sure you can see in the photos, but the main body’s a narrow charcoal grey and white stripe. This was slightly migraine-inducing while I was making it up, but I’m pleased to report it’s a pleasure to wear. I’ve worn it all day today and no-one’s complained I gave them a headache, so fingers crossed, it was just from studying it closely, whilst sewing. As you can see I was inspired by Tilly’s versions in the instructions, and went for a contrasting pocket, and while I was at it, a pair of fetching, contrasting cuffs πŸ™‚

Again, the main body of this sewed up simply and quickly, but boy did those cuffs cause me some stress! I think I must have whatever the sewing equivalent of not knowing your left from your right is. If I said I read this particular section of the instructions twenty times over, I don’t think I’d be exaggerating! I tried consulting Tilly’s online tutorials (which I’d forgotten existed for my first attempt at this, doh!), but it was no use I didn’t know my width from my length, and it was fast becoming all double-Dutch to me! It was at this point that my husband suggested I put it down for the day. Don’t you just hate it whenΒ they’re right?!!

The next morning I picked it up again and just made it up. This didn’t go quite to plan, and I ended up unpicking the darn things several times, grrrr! But I got there, or as close as, eventually! To be fair to Tilly the rest of the instructions were perfectly clear, so I presume that these were too, to any normal sewers that is. Come to think of it, I’ve never attached cuffs before, so that was probably the problem…

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I’m so glad I’ve conquered my knit-phobia with these two tops. And with it, I’ve cracked sewing my own casual, weekend wear too. These two Cocos will be perfect for messing around with my kids at the weekend. Oh, and I promised them I’d mention my latest accessory they made me…

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It’s a rose bud bracelet. Are everyone else’s monkeys currently obsessed with loom bands? Their Cousins over in America, say the craze hit them about six months ago, and has since waned. It’s still going strong here! Well, they’re cheap, and they keep them quiet for hours, so I’m happy to embrace them for now…

Simple Home Projects

I’ve been up to my neck marking at home for the last couple of days, whilst simultaneously smoothing feuds been my two children who are on half term this week, but I thought I’d share a quick and simple home project I completed a while ago.

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These little beauties hang on the back of our wardrobe door and I use them constantly for separating ‘delicates’ (and fragile home sewn items…) from the rest of the wash. I used a couple of ‘granny chic’ pillowcases I picked up for practically nothing at a local charity shop. They even had a lovely ‘crispness’ to them, so suspect they’d hardly ever been used. The tutorial I used (somewhere on the internet, but I just googled and there’s a whole host of them out there) involved simply chopping off some of the length, re hemming and adding a contrasting ribbon to the top. I had some lovely, old lace in exactly the same muted colour in my stash (another charity shop find) so added this too. I think they make a welcome splash of colour to our muted colour scheme.

I even made a couple of very quick and simple ‘bird’ lavender bags (using Cath Kidston’s Sew template) to use up the cut off fabric, so my awaiting laundry smells good too.

Sometimes the simplest makes are the most satisfying πŸ™‚

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